Loudoun County Choose James Fisher accused an alleged domestic violence sufferer of being intoxicated and held her in contempt of courtroom.
LEESBURG, Va. — A lady was testifying in Loudoun County Circuit Court docket that her boyfriend experienced punched her in the facial area when a judge ruled her in contempt of courtroom and requested her to provide 10 times in jail.
Judge Thomas P. Fisher accused Katie Orndoff of being superior on marijuana when she took the stand to testify on Sept. 7. Now, Orndoff is inquiring the court the vacate the contempt judgment.
Victim’s rights advocates and prosecutor Buta Biberaj say they are fearful that what Decide Fisher did to an alleged abuse sufferer will scare other domestic abuse victims out of having the stand to testify versus their attackers.
In audio from the trial, you can hear Fisher notify Orndoff. “The court docket finds you in contempt of courtroom.”
Orndoff responds, with very clear shock in her voice, “Me?”
“I’m likely to sentence you to 10 days in the county jail,” the decide continues. “I’m going to remand you to the custody of the Sheriff.”
In the track record, an individual in the courtroom responds, saying, “Judge!”
“Oh my God. What’s likely on? I did not even do everything!” Orndoff shouts, just before the choose walks out.
A bailiff walks about to her at the witness stand, and the video finishes just right before he handcuffs her and usually takes her off to jail.
“What am I supposed to do? I never have an understanding of!!!!” Orndoff cries.
Orndoff experienced been testifying that her former husband or wife, James Phillips, punched her 2 times in the confront in July. Over an hour into her testimony, Fisher dismissed the jury and accused her of remaining intoxicated.
“You look to be beneath the impact of narcotics or some other compound,” he informed her.
The decide then asks her if she had smoked marijuana in advance of she arrived to the courthouse.
“I signify just before I received in the auto and arrived below,” Orndoff answered.
Legal professional Thomas Plofchan, who is now representing Orndoff, and provided the courtroom movie in a filing, said surveillance cameras that captured images of Orndoff arriving at the courthouse clearly show no proof of her staying intoxicated. Deputies agreed. Plofchan explained Orndoff was simply nervous and agitated since she was testifying in front of the person who experienced strike her.
The Assistant Commonwealth’s Legal professional prosecuting the case versus Phillips tried out to speak up for Orndoff.
“I do assume we’re chatting about a sufferer who travels to the county to testify in a demo who is now getting held in custody,” Biberaj explained. “Choose, I believe she’s entitled to counsel at this position.”
“Ma’am, she admitted in court docket to smoking cannabis now,” the choose replied, cutting her off.
Orndoff was launched from jail following two times. She’s anticipated back again at the courthouse Wednesday to consider to get the contempt judgment vacated.
Judge Fisher declined to remark for this tale.
Alex Rueda, chief of staff for the Loudoun County Circuit Courtroom judges, said the canons of judicial ethics avert him from commenting on a pending subject.
“I did practically nothing illegal and I was not less than the impact of nearly anything,” Orndoff wrote in a statement to the courtroom. “Not only did I put up with abuse by my significant other, but I was punished for testifying … I was dragged from the courtroom in handcuffs … I will never ever really feel risk-free reporting abuse yet again.”
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