VIDEO | Courtroom disturbances prompt two arrests in Jefferson District Court
One of the suspects allegedly would not turn off her cell phone. The other refused to acknowledge the court's jurisdiction.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two people were arrested in a Jefferson District courtroom Tuesday morning after authorities say they caused chaotic disturbances in the middle of court.
Video from Jefferson District Judge Sean Delahanty's courtroom shows what happened.
Kisha Johnson, age 18, was scheduled to appear in court on charges of possession of marijuana, tampering with physical evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia. But video shows that when Judge Delahanty called her name, she not only refused to step up to the podium -- but also refused to acknowledge the authority of the court.
"Come on up here, ma'am," Judge Delahanty said.
"I wanted to stand here," Johnson replied.
"No, you’ve got to stand at this podium," Judge Delahanty said.
"Awesome," Johnson said, though video shows that she didn't move. "Can you tell me…"
"Come on ma'am," a bailiff said. "You have to come up here. We can't record you--"
"…what laws do you guys operate under?" Johnson finished.
"The laws of the state of Kentucky," Judge Delahanty said.
Throughout the exchange, Johnson refused to step up to the podium and Judge Delahanty appears increasingly frustrated.
"Come up here and stand at this podium," he said. "I have to get you on the record so that we can see you with your argument."
Johnson goes on to inform the judge that she does not have a lawyer.
"So you want to represent yourself. Is that true, Ms. Johnson?" Judge Delahanty asked.
"Actually, I wanted to know what law you guys operate under in this court," Johnson replied.
"Okay, Ms. Johnson, I really don’t want to create some big scene," Judge Delahanty said a moment later. "I do not want to lock you up, but I may very well have to. I need for you to come up here and stand at this podium."
"Can I just sit here…" Johnson begins.
"No you cannot. No you cannot," Judge Delahanty said. "You have to come up here and stand at this podium."
At about this time in the video, there was a disturbance near the back of the courtroom. According to an arrest report, 36-year-old Jenna Vondran was among the observers in the courtroom and had begun using her smart phone to record the proceedings. Authorities say she was asked to stop and put the phone away, but she refused.
On the video, a woman's voice can be heard from the back of the courtroom yelling, "Show me the law. Show me the law. This is my property. Show me the law. Show me the law!"
According to the arrest report, Judge Delahanty then ordered that Vondran be arrested. When a deputy tried to take her into custody, she "became loud and tried to pull away," according to court documents. She allegedly tried to pull away after getting cuffed, and had to be pushed against the wall.
On the video, a woman can be seen screaming "Oww!" and crying as she is pushed against the wall and escorted out of the courtroom. According to the arrest report, the disturbance caused "great alarm" in the courtroom, prompting Judge Delahanty to hit his panic button three times.
Vondran was charged with resisting arrest, contempt of court and disorderly conduct.
"My panic button doesn't work there, by the way," Judge Delahanty exclaimed on the video a few moments after the woman is escorted out of the courtroom.
Throughout the disturbance, Johnson also shouted.
"Under common law -- under any law -- you have no jurisdiction..." she exclaimed. "What is this for? Are you guys watching this? Under the Constitution, you have no right -- no right for this!"
"I'm not finished with her yet," Judge Delahanty said, referencing Johnson.
Johnson eventually stepped forward to the podium.
"Anyway, you are charged with possession of marijuana, tampering with physical evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia," Judge Delahanty said.
"I don't understand any of that," Johnson said.
"Alright. Well, you’re charged with illegally possessing marijuana. You are charged with tampering with physical evidence…" Judge Delahanty began.
"You guys are wrong," Johnson said.
"…and possession of drug paraphernalia..." Judge Delahanty continued.
"I don't understand any of those charges," Johnson said.
"Well, there’s not a whole lot more -- there's not a whole lot more I can do to try to explain to you…" Judge Delahanty said.
"Okay. Let's start here: Can you guys prove jurisdiction?" Johnson demanded. "Prove jurisdiction, because I came in under common law. Prove your jurisdiction if you have jurisdiction over me -- over this -- prove jurisdiction. A court cannot proceed until you prove jurisdiction. Show me your law."
"Alright," Judge Delahanty said. "All of our laws are codified in the Kentucky Revised Statutes."
"Show me jurisdiction," Johnson said. "Show me the law."
"Here you go," Judge Delahanty said, picking up what appeared to be a law book.
"Okay, that doesn’t prove that you have jurisdiction," Johnson said.
"I don’t have to prove jurisdiction to you," Judge Delahanty said. "Alright. I'm gonna prove jurisdiction to you right now. I'm gonna ask the deputy to go ahead and take you into custody."
"Under what charges?" Johnson demanded. "Under what charges?"
A moment later, the bailiffs can be seen attempting to arrest Johnson. The podium falls forward and Johnson is tackled to the ground. She is escorted out a moment later, and can be heard on the video uttering the phrase, "...under the common law and the U.S. Constitution..."
"I don’t know where these people…" Judge Delahanty can be heard saying on the video.
Johnson was charged with contempt of court in connection with the outburst.
Copyright 2017 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.