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Published: Thursday, June 23, 2016 @ 10:14 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2016 @ 10:14 AM
A Springfield man’s plot to throw feces at a court sentencing might have been known ahead of time, but he was never checked before entering the Clark County courtroom.
He could face another four to six years in prison for the attack, prosecutors said..
Hand, of Springfield, was being sentenced for a series of armed robberies Wednesday and hid bottles full of bodily fluids in his pants to smuggle them into the courtroom, said Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly. Hand should have been checked before being allowed before a judge, Kelly said.
Extra deputies were in the courtroom Wednesday because it had been reported before the sentencing that Hand talked about bringing feces to the court, according to court records.
The sheriff declined to comment on why Hand was not checked before entering court if it was possible people had heard of his plan, citing an ongoing internal investigation into the incident.
Sheriff’s office policies state people should be searched before they enter the courts and before they leave, Kelly said.
Hand pleaded guilty to seven charges, including aggravated robbery, robbery and breaking and entering. He was facing up to 52 years in prison for the crimes.
During the investigation, police said Hand was cooperative and even admitted to some of the 14 business break-ins and robberies he committed.
“He wanted to come clean and tell me about this stuff,” said Detective Ron Jordan with the Springfield Police Division.
When the judge told Hand Wednesday he would be in prison for the next 40 years is when the man appeared to get angry, and threw the feces.
“Forty years — that’s a life sentence!,” Hand yelled in the courtroom.
Hand used weapons, a knife and a gun, in several of the robberies, police said. It was later determined the gun was fake, but the threat to victims was still there, Jordan said.
“When a person walks in with a gun that appears to be real, and you’re being robbed, you’re going to believe it’s real,” the detective said.
In a Clark County Municipal Court arraignment Thursday for the feces-attack charges, Hand told the judge he was “sorry for being a criminal” and admitted the bodily fluids were his own feces and urine.
He was in a wheelchair and handcuffed to the wheelchair for the arraignment.