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Published: Thursday, 11/14/2013

Mom gets 10 days in jail for courtroom outburst

A Toledo mother whose outburst over her son’s sentencing disrupted two courtrooms Wednesday was found in contempt of court and ordered to spend the next 10 days in the Lucas County jail.

Chandra Cotton Armstrong, 52, of 556 Mettler St. repeatedly cried out, “No!” after Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gene Zmuda sentenced Chauncy Armstrong, 20, to 17 months in prison for attempted burglary.

She was removed from the courtroom in a wheelchair after collapsing on the floor of the courtroom and refusing to stand.

Her outburst continued as she was led out of the courthouse, prompting a pause in cross-examination in a criminal trial in Judge Ruth Ann Franks’ courtroom, Ian English, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told the court at a contempt hearing later in the day.

“This building cannot function if we operate like a nightclub,” Mr. English said. “This building cannot function if the behavior of the streets is tolerated in a court of law.”

Judge Zmuda noted that Ms. Armstrong was no stranger to court proceedings or the behavior expected in court as she recently pleaded guilty in Common Pleas Court to theft and falsification.

“As you erupted emotionally, you prevented the liberty of everyone in this courtroom, including your son, Chauncy,” the judge told her.

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