Wadsworth judge seeking tighter security after suspects flee

Wadsworth judge seeking tighter security after suspects flee

WADSWORTH, OH (WOIO) - Judge Steven McIlvaine is seeking more security, and for good reason.

What got him thinking was what happened in court on Monday.

He was sentencing Jeremy Vance in a receiving stolen property case. He listened to Vance who said, "I've just had stuff over my head, you know, and it's just kind of been dragging me down."

After that the judge handed him 90 days, telling Vance would go to jail immediately.

Vance had a different idea. He simply walked away from the podium, and headed toward the courtroom door.

On a video of the escape, you can year Judge McIlvaine and others yelling for Vance to stop: "Get him this way.  Sir, sir come on hey. Aw, you got to be kidding. Don't, don't. Call the police he's gone. Call the police."

An outdoor surveillance camera caught Vance running out the door and into a car that sped away.

Judge McIlvaine explained, "We didn't chase him, we didn't follow him. I've got all his information."

Vance, who is a non-violent offender, was picked up in less than an hour and taken to jail.

Now, he'll likely be facing an additional 180 days.

In November, Cyrus Matthews didn't like the idea of jail getting in the way of his plans.

He, too, walked away.

Matthews case was different in that he led police on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash.

Should an officer be stationed in the courtroom? The Judge replied, "We're looking into it. We're maybe gonna get our security advisory committee back up and running and let them take a look at it, and see what we have to do."

McIlvaine says he'd only need security for sentencing hearings.

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