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Man guilty, sentenced for 2006 courtroom outburst

August 28, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A 33-year-old man was found guilty Monday of second-degree assault during a December 2006 outburst in a Washington County Circuit Court courtroom.

Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III sentenced Eugene Powell to four years in prison Monday afternoon after a jury found him guilty of assault and disorderly conduct.

Powell's outburst occurred Dec. 28, 2006. He was scheduled for a jury trial in circuit court on charges of fake controlled dangerous substance distribute: fraud, possession with the intent to distribute fake cocaine and possess/purchase of a noncontrolled substance, according to court records.

Powell and attorneys approached the bench of Circuit Judge John H. McDowell for a bench conference before a jury was seated, according to reports.

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Powell made a racially charged, profane statement to the judge, then began flailing his arms as courtroom officers attempted to control him, Assistant State's Attorney Robert Veil said Monday during closing arguments. Powell was swinging his fist and punched a Maryland State Police trooper who tried to restrain him.

According to a court document, Powell is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.

On Monday, five Division of Correction officers sat behind Powell in the courtroom. Several uniformed deputies also sat near the inmate, who appeared in court wearing his dreadlocked hair in pigtails.

Powell was flailing his arms in an attempt to keep people's hand off of him, Assistant Public Defender Jerome J. Joyce said Monday during closing arguments. Joyce also said his client had already been punished.

On the day of the outburst, McDowell ordered Powell, who was being held at the Washington County Detention Center on the drug charges, to serve six months in jail for contempt of court.

Powell was found guilty of the assault and disorderly conduct charges in June in Washington County District Court and appealed his case to circuit court.

He is being held at Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Md.

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