RAW VIDEO | Heroin suspects prompt angry comments from Jefferson County District judge
"I think heroin is a problem in this community. Apparently nobody else does," Judge Sandra McLaughlin said in court Wednesday morning.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two men arrested on heroin charges prompted angry comments from a Jefferson County District Judge during their arraignments Wednesday morning.
Antwyon Murrell and Marcus Whitehead were arrested Tuesday afternoon, near the corner of S. 6th Street and W. Ormsby Avenue.
Police say they saw 30-year-old Antwyon Murrell driving a black 2007 Hummer, while a passenger -- 31-year-old Marcus Whitehead -- was riding without wearing a seatbelt.
According to the police report, officers tried to stop Murrell, but he responded by trying to drive away, moving into oncoming traffic. As a result, police say he hit a police car.
Murrell's alleged actions injured a police detective and caused over $1,000 worth of damage to the police vehicle.
Police say they pulled both Murrell and Whitehead out of the car, and found a bag containing more than 100 grams of suspected heroin inside.
Both Murrell and Whitehead were arrested and charged with trafficking in a controlled substance. Murrell is also charged with first degree assault, first degree wanton endangerment, first degree criminal mischief and fleeing and evading police.
Not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of both men during their initial court appearance Wednesday morning. During Murrell's appearance, Jefferson County District Court Judge Sandra McLaughlin became irate, indicating that he was already facing drug charges before the incident took place.
At one point, a defense attorney argued, "He is a moderate risk judge. He lives here in Jefferson County."
"Would you say heroin is a moderate risk to this community?" Judge McLaughlin countered.
"I would say that an accused person is granted the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty..." the defense attorney said.
"We're gonna do that, but I also have to take into consideration the allegations, thank you," Judge McLaughlin said.
"Yes ma'am..." the defense attorney responded.
Moments later, Judge McLaughlin gasped loudly.
"Wait a minute, he has a pending heroin trafficking charge now?" Judge McLaughlin asked. "He's out of custody and picked up new charges? What world am I living in?"
"Welcome to 2017," she added a moment later.
During Whitehead's appearance, Judge McLaughlin declined to allow Whitehead out on home incarceration in lieu of bond.
"I'm not gonna do that," she said. "I don't think it's appropriate for him to be back out in the community at this time. He has seven years of trafficking history of drugs in this community, and putting him back out in the street today is not a good idea."
As Whitehead was led out of the room, Judge McLaughlin added, "I think heroin is a problem in this community. Apparently nobody else does."
Both men are currently being lodged in Louisville Metro Corrections.
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