Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cellphone use in courtroom leads to felony charges

Michael Cannon

Kokomo IN May 21 2017 A situation that began with unauthorized cellphone usage in Superior Court 1 quickly escalated to a physical altercation and felony charges for one Kokomo man.
On May 1, during a jury trial, an incident that led to the arrest of Michael Cannon, allegedly began with his daughter texting in the courtroom. However, according to a Howard County Sheriff’s Department supplemental report, the man attempted to prevent the confiscation of his daughter’s cellphone, leading to a confrontation with officers in the courthouse.
According to the report, at about 2:10 p.m., the jury trial Dion Cannon, Michael’s brother, was underway in Howard Superior Court 1. During the proceedings of the trial, officers stationed in the courtroom noticed a young female sitting in the back row of the court texting on a cellphone. When officers moved to confiscate the phone, as cellphone usage is restricted within the court, Cannon allegedly attempted to interrupt that process.
“I again asked her to give me the phone, and again, she did not respond but instead directed her attention to someone on the front row of seats,” said Officer Norris Jones wrote in the report. “At this time a black male stood up from the front row and told the female to give the phone to him.”
That man, later identified as Cannon, took the phone and attempted to exit the courtroom. As he did so, he allegedly said, You mother****** ain’t taking my daughter’s phone to destroy it.” Jones attempted to intervene to obtain the phone, he wrote that Cannon allegedly “began in a loud tone of voice to curse while calling us racists and Klansmen.”
By this time, the court had been cleared by Judge Bill Menges. According to the report, the judge told the man that he would be held for 30 days for direct contempt of court, and, as there was no change in Cannon’s behavior, the jail time would be “increased in increments of 30 days until it reached 120 days.”
After the two officers in the courtroom handcuffed Cannon, they removed him from the courtroom via a back door of the court. As the three men awaited an elevator to take Cannon to be detained, Officer Jones wrote, “I heard a scuffle behind me, and as I turned around Officer (Jerry) Williams was struggling with the individual, who was continuing with his verbal onslaught and refusing in every way to comply with instructions to settle down. Just inside of the door to the elevator, there was a physical altercation, at which time Officer Williams forced the man into the wall, resulting in a large hole being placed in the drywall, and I, at this time, assisted Officer Williams as we both pinned the man against the wall as he continued to flail and jerk away.”
According to Williams’ supplemental report, it was at about this time that Cannon “swung his head towards (the officer), attempting to ‘head-butt’” him. Williams wrote that Cannon did make contact with the officer’s chin while attempting to head-butt him.

Eventually, court security and Kokomo Police Department officers arrived to assist, and Cannon was taken into holding.
As a result of the incident, Cannon was charged with battery – a level 6 felony, criminal mischief – a class B misdemeanor, resisting law enforcement – a class A misdemeanor, disorderly conduct – a class B misdemeanor, and contempt of court, a level 6 felony. He remains in Howard County Jail.

The Kokomo Perspective attempted to procure footage of Cannon’s arrest; however, because it is still the subject of a criminal investigation, Howard County officials said it could not be released. 

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