Guilty Defendant Walks Out Of Courtroom Casually While Unnoticed
In a surprising turn of events, a man named Joey Watts managed to escape from a courtroom in Arkansas, despite being found guilty and facing a lengthy prison sentence. The incident, captured on camera, has sparked concerns about courtroom security and the effectiveness of law enforcement as the guilty defendant walks out of courtroom casuallywhen nobody was looking.
Joey Watts was facing charges of aggravated assault and felony possession of a firearm in the Grant County Courthouse in Sheridan. After the jury left the courtroom for deliberations, Watts calmly stood up and walked out of the courthouse, as shown in the video footage. It is evident that nobody was closely monitoring his movements, allowing him to saunter out without raising any suspicion.
Deputy Prosecutor Norman Frisby, who was responsible for prosecuting the case, revealed that Watts had been accused of threatening a woman with a shotgun in his home. Despite being advised by his attorney not to leave, Watts ignored the advice and left the courtroom unnoticed.
Grant County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Pete Roberts explained that Watts was out on bond and had not been convicted at the time, which allowed him some freedom of movement.
According to NBC News, Grant County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Pete Roberts said:
Unfortunately, the absence of a second bailiff further contributed to the lack of oversight, facilitating Watts' escape.
The following day, law enforcement authorities managed to apprehend Watts and arrested three individuals who had assisted him in his escape from the courthouse. Watts ultimately received a 36-year prison sentence, with 10 years for the assault charges and 26 years for the firearm possession charges. Surprisingly, no additional charges were filed against him for his daring courtroom escape.
The incident raises serious questions about courtroom security protocols and the need for stricter oversight during proceedings. With the only bailiff on duty and the absence of additional personnel, the situation was ripe for such an escape to occur. The Grant County Sheriff's Office has acknowledged the need to address this issue and was in the process of hiring another bailiff to ensure better security in the future.
Deputy Prosecutor Frisby expressed his disappointment at the incident, highlighting the gravity of Watts' initial charges and emphasizing the importance of preventing such occurrences.
Court Cam: Guilty Defendant Casually Walks Out of Courtroom | A&E
The video evidence clearly shows that Watts seized an opportunity to evade justice, walking out of the courtroom when nobody was looking.
While Watts managed to briefly taste freedom, his actions have not gone unpunished. With a substantial prison sentence awaiting him, it is hoped that the authorities will implement stricter measures to prevent future courtroom escapes.
The incident serves as a reminder that the justice system must continuously adapt and enhance security measures to ensure the integrity of court proceedings and the safety of all involved.
As for Joey Watts, it remains to be seen whether he will find it equally easy to slip away unnoticed from a prison facility. With heightened scrutiny and tighter security protocols, the chances of a repeat escape seem far less likely.