Two men who terrified Cleveland jurors by pointing cameras at them last week during an aggravated murder trial were jailed yesterday for contempt of court, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. One of the men, a friend of the defendant, recorded images of the jury and prosecutors for eight minutes before jurors noticed, and Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo declared a mistrial. Russo sentenced the two men for what she described as “intimidating and frightening my jury” and making the jurors and others fearful of jury service.
Andre Block, 28, got 60 days in jail for using his Flip camera to create the video. His public defender told Russo that Block knew the defendant faced a lengthy prison sentence, so he was using the camera “to preserve a memory of his friend.” J. Dean Carro, director of the Legal Clinic of the University of Akron’s School of Law, said camerasameras and cell phones should be banned from court: “You don’t want jurors and judges wondering during a trial whether someone has turned on a device.”