Ohio Appeals Court Says Naked Defendant Won't Get New Trial

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) - An appeals court has ruled that a man who was barred from his own trial when he took off his clothes and refused to get dressed again will not get a new trial.

The naked defendant who was convicted of a dozen charges stemming from a 1999 stolen-car chase in Hamilton was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The 12th Ohio District Court of Appeals on Monday said Judge Patricia Oney of Butler County Common Pleas Court was justified in ordering that William Parrish's trial in 2000 continue without him.

Public defenders argued at an appeals court hearing in June that Parrish, 34, was improperly denied his constitutional right to be present at his own trial, to confront witnesses against him and to assist in his own defense.

County prosecutors cited Ohio Supreme Court decisions that said a defendant may not "defeat the administration of justice" by his own misbehavior, and courts may act to counter such attempts.

The appellate judges said barring Parrish from the courtroom was "proper" under the circumstances.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)