Six arrested for courthouse disturbance react strongly to bond amounts

11/29/2012
BLADE STAFF
Top row, from left, Markella Lawrence, Angel Bowman, Anthony Mitchell, bottom row, from left, Antoine Pernell, Myesha Newton, and Sonia Nieto have all face multiple charges following a disturbance during sentencing of Anthony Mitchell, 16, not pictured, at the Lucas County Courthouse.
Top row, from left, Markella Lawrence, Angel Bowman, Anthony Mitchell, bottom row, from left, Antoine Pernell, Myesha Newton, and Sonia Nieto have all face multiple charges following a disturbance during sentencing of Anthony Mitchell, 16, not pictured, at the Lucas County Courthouse.

Several people arrested Wednesday after they started a small-scale “riot” at the county courthouse were visibly upset about bond amounts set today by a Toledo Municipal Court judge, leaving the courtroom shouting and swearing.

Anthony Mitchell, 39, of 828 Magnolia St., is charged with aggravated riot, retaliation against a public servant, resisting arrest, and aggravated menacing. His bond was set at $280,000 for the charges, plus an unrelated burglary and two unrelated assaults.

Judge Robert Christansen, who presided over all of the arraignments, noted that Mitchell has prior felony convictions and is a registered sex offender.

Mitchell, whose jail jumper was unbuttoned to reveal a fading tattoo on his chest, told the judge he had been out of prison since 2010.

13abc.com: Breaking News, Weather and Sports

He is due back in court on Dec. 6.

Antoine Pernell, 35, of 812 Walbridge Ave., is charged with aggravated riot. His bond was set at $25,000. He told the judge he has been out of prison since 2008; he is due back in court Friday.

Angel Bowman, 25, of 828 Magnolia, is charged with aggravated riot, petty theft, resisting arrest, and menacing.

She was ordered held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $40,000 bond.

Markella Lawrence, 30, of 420 Elizabeth St., is charged with aggravated riot, aggravated menacing, petty theft, and resisting arrest. Her bond was set at $40,000.

Judge Christiansen asked Lawrence when she got out of prison.

“A long time ago, like, 2007,” she said.

“For you that's a long time ago?” the judge said.

After her bond was set at $95,000, Lawrence, as she was escorted into the hallway, stomped and shouted about the total bond amount.

Next up was Myesha Newton, 19, of 6365 Glenridge Dr., charged with aggravated riot, resisting arrest, and menacing. After Judge Christiansen ordered her bond set at $40,000 – with no 10 percent cash option (which no defendant received) – Ms. Newton questioned the judge.

“No 10?” she asked.

“No 10,” the judge replied in a sing-song voice.

After the arraignment, she stomped into the hallway, escorted by a Lucas County Sheriff's deputy, shouting profanities.

“No 10,” she yelled. “Oh God.”

Finally was Sonia Nieto, 24, of 2114 Elm St., charged with aggravated riot, assault on a police officer, and resisting arrest. Her bond was set at $55,000.

The Wednesday incident began after Anthony Mitchell, 16, was sentenced in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Jennings’ courtroom to 21 years in prison for a rape conviction. Several of Mitchell’s family members became upset after the sentence was announced and “began to cause a disturbance,” police wrote in an incident report.

In charging documents, police allege that at least two people – the elder Mr. Mitchell and Ms. Lawrence – threatened to rape and kill the 23-year-old rape victim.

The elder Mr. Mitchell is also accused of threatening to blow up the courthouse.

Ms. Newton allegedly threatened to beat up Toledo police Detective Shelli Kilburn, who was in the courthouse at the time.

Ms. Nieto allegedly kicked and punched the detective and jumped on her back.

Ms. Bowman is accused of stealing Detective Kilburn's keys during the melee and then refused to return them. The keys were later found in a bush outside the courthouse.