LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens on Tuesday reduced a defendant's 60-day contempt sentence to time served after the man apologized to the judge for using a racial slur following a court hearing a day earlier.
On Monday, Stevens harshly rebuked Adam Satterly after he shouted out "Punk a-- ni—er" following a hearing in which his bond on drug charges was revoked.
A few minutes after hearing Satterly, Stevens ordered deputies to bring him back in the court room and found him in contempt of court for using the racial slur.
"You don't speak those words in here," Stevens said at the time. "And that word particularly, you don't use that word. I'm going to give you 60 days for having used that word. I'm going to hold you in contempt right now for having used it in this courtroom. It's disrespectful; don't ever do it again."
Chris Thurman, Satterly's attorney, who was present during the bond hearing, had already left the courtroom. Satterly told Stevens he was talking to his brother, not the judge.
On Tuesday, Stevens again had Satterly brought before him, this time with Thurman present. The judge told Satterly his comment was "disrespectful" and lectured him on proper court decorum, according to a video of the hearing.
"If you offer an apology, I will grant you time served," Stevens told Satterly.
Satterly, who is white, apologized to the judge and maintained that he was speaking to his brother, not Stevens. Satterly's brother was in the courtroom on Monday.
"I was mad at my brother is all it was," Satterly told the judge.
Stevens said he didn't know how the racial slur could have been directed at Satterly's brother, who is also white, but accepted the apology.
WDRB requested the court video of Tuesday's hearing but it was not available until Wednesday.
Stevens again set Satterly’s bond at 10 percent of $5,000.
It is at least the third time in the last year the issue of race has come up in Stevens' courtroom. Stevens, who is black, had stopped hearing cases for a few weeks in the wake of a scolding by Kentucky's chief justice and an ongoing investigation by the Judicial Conduct Commission over his comments alleging top prosecutor Tom Wine wants "all-white" juries.
And last February, Stevens came under fire for criticizing the victims of an armed robbery for "fostering" the views of their 5-year-old daughter. The parents said in court records that the daughter was still scared of black men after two had held the family at gunpoint.
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