LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville man who was sentenced to seven days in jail after he dropped his pants in court last week has been released after he apologized to the judge.
On March 14, 20-year-old Austin Boone appeared in Jefferson District Courtroom 203, to answer for charges of speeding 22 miles over the prescribed limit and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to pay a total fine of $178, with no jail time, but things quickly escalated after a bailiff told him to pull up his pants and he refused. That's when Jefferson District Judge Stephanie Burke got involved.
"Pull your pants up!" Judge Burke said. "If you have to tighten your belt, you're going to be an adult when you come to court, do you understand?"
"Yes, but right now I'm trying to leave court," Boone said.
"You're going to stay a lot longer than you'd like if you don't pull your pants up," Burke replied.
"Ma'am, they are up," Boone said. "What do you want from me?"
Judge Burke then ordered Boone to sit in the jury box while she finished up the docket. When he was brought before a second time, his pants were gone, with only a pair of basketball shorts underneath.
Judge Burke berated Boone from the bench.
"I instructed you to pull your pants up on a number of occasions and gave you the opportunity to do that," Judge Burke said. "Instead you wanted to argue about it and act a fool. When I put you in that box, that was to give you a few moments so that I could discuss that with you privately at the end of this docket."
"By removing your pants -- that was extremely poor judgment," Judge Burke continued. "I'm holding you in contempt. I'm gonna sentence you to seven days to serve for direct contempt of court."
"Are you serious?" Boone asked.
"Because you don't know how to act like a grownup," Judge Burke replied.
Boone had a much different demeanor when he was brought back before Judge Burke Friday morning, after serving two days in jail. Again, courtroom video captured the hearing. Instead of civilian clothes, Boone wore an orange jumpsuit. His attorney, Jeff Skora, spoke first, asking the judge to suspend the rest of Boone's sentence and release him.
"He works," Skora said. "He made a mistake and he's had a 48-hour crash course in humility. He's never been in jail before and I don't think he likes it."
A moment later, Boone himself addressed the court.
"I would like to apologize to you first," he said, indicating Judge Burke, then looking at the bailiff and saying, "I would like to also apologize to you, and all the other sheriffs that were present. I made a very dumb decision, and this has been, like, the worst two days of my life. I've learned my lesson. I can't express how sorry I am."
Judge Burke listened to his statement, then responded.
"Your apology is accepted," she said. "And your behavior -- you would not have gone to jail had your behavior not escalated when you started disrespecting the deputies. Because I heard the language. I heard how you behaved when you took your pants off and the way you spoke to them. That's when things changed. So you do not behave like that in a courtroom. You act like a grownup. You shouldn't behave like that anywhere. Do you understand?"
"I presumed that after a couple of days that you would have had enough and you would have understood why I did what I did." Judge Burke added. "Your apology is accepted. You will be released today. The remainder of the sentence will be suspended."
Boone was released, after serving two days of his seven-day sentence for contempt of court.
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