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Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 @ 9:58 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2016 @ 9:55 AM
SPRINGFIELD — UPDATE @ 9:55 a.m. (June 23):
An investigation is underway into a breakdown in Clark County Common Pleas court protocol that allowed Hand to sneak his own feces into the courtroom and throw it at people.
Ricky Hand, 46, 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.
“If we would have followed our procedures and policies this would not have happened,” Kelly said.
Hand pleaded guilty earlier this month to a string of armed robberies. Police said he robbed more than a dozen business, many with a weapon.
Wednesday he first apologized for the crime spree and told Common Pleas Judge Richard O’Neill he was fueled by his drug addiction.
“I need help with the core of my problem, and that’s drugs,” Hand said.
Hand was facing a possible 52 years in prison for his guilty pleas to seven of the original 30 charges for which a Clark County grand jury indicted him.
O’Neill sentenced Hand to 40 years in prison for the crimes, and then Hand appeared to get upset. He looked repeatedly at his lawyer asking “40 years?”
Then Hand interrupted the judge. “Did you just give me 40 years, sir?”
When the judge replied “Yes,” Hand stood up and pulled a bottle from his pants, flinging the contents that hit his defense lawyer. Court deputies and a Springfield Police Division officer quickly tackled Hand.
The bottle contained Hand’s feces and urine, he told investigators. He had four bottles hidden when he went into court, Kelly said.
Hand told detectives he hid bottles of his own feces and urine in bottles his cell for weeks, then put them in his pants before he was taken to the courtroom.
The liquids hit his lawyer and four deputies during the attack, investigators said.
Clark County Sheriff’s Office protocol states any defendants escorted by deputies to court are to be checked before they enter the court and before they leave court.
“It’s very clear and our policies I believe are very strong,” Kelly said.
Deputies have been told to review the policies and an internal investigation into what went wrong is ongoing, the sheriff said.
Hand was back in court Thursday morning to face five new charges of harassment with a bodily substance.
Hand allegedly used a gun in 11 of the 13 business crimes he committed, according to court documents.
He admitted to police he broke into or robbed a variety of businesses across the city, including drive-thrus, bars, a nail salon and restaurants like Burger King and Long John Silvers, investigators said.
UPDATE @ 5:56 p.m. (June 22): Ricky Hand now faces an additional charges in the feces-slinging incident.
The charges include five counts harassment with bodily substance — one for his attorney and four deputies; obstructing official business; and retaliation. He will be in Clark County Municipal Court on Thursday.
Hand had four water bottles concealed in his arm sling and pants that he admitted were full of his urine and feces.
In another development, an investigation has begun into the breakdown in Common Pleas Court that allowed Hand to sneak bodily fluid and substance into the room.
Hand should have been checked before being allowed before a judge, Sheriff Gene Kelly said.
A man who was being sentenced for a string of robberies across Springfield threw feces during his sentencing this morning.
Ricky Hand concealed the feces on his person and threw it after he was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in the robberies.
Hand faced 30 charges of breaking and entering, safe-cracking, aggravated robbery, abduction and attempted safe-cracking, in April, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to seven of the original charges in a Clark County Common Pleas courtroom earlier this month.
Hand previously served prison time.
On Oct. 2011, Hand pleaded guilty in a robbery case and was sentenced to four years in prison for the crime, according to Clark County court records.
He was out of prison and on parole for less than six months before his last crime spree started in January of this year.
In court Wednesday, Hand interrupted the judge before the outburst.
“Did you just give me 40 years, sir? You just gave me 40 years…. Well guess what?” Hand said and then reached for something in a sling he was wearing.
He pulled out the feces and threw it, hitting his defense lawyer. He was then tackled by deputies in the court, where he told them he had multiple bottles of the feces hidden on his body.
The sergeant in charge of court deputies said it was not protocol to pat down defendants as they are brought to court from the Clark County Jail, because they are coming straight from their jail cells. The sergeant said that will likely change after this outburst.
Prosecutors said they will review evidence from the courtroom and Hand could face more charges for the court disruption.
Hand is currently booked in the Clark County Jail awaiting his transfer to the Ohio Department of Corrections.