Great-Grandma Unhappy About Being in Court

Great-granny unhappy with court appearance.A fleeing bank robber made the mistake of seeking refuge in his 94-year-old great-grandmother’s home with pursuers hot on his trail. When the police arrived, the only ones present were the accused and great-grandma. At trial, the defendant, Mr. Jones, elected to represent himself, never a good idea.

The prosecution called his great-grandma as a witness. To say she wasn’t happy about the proceedings and, in particular, the conduct of her great-grandson would understate her disenchantment with sitting in the witness box.

We’ll let her explain. Here’s the text of page 209 of the trial transcript shown in the photo, where she concludes her testimony:

 THE WITNESS: He’s a sick ass, that’s what he is.

 THE COURT: The record will reflect that she’s identified Mr. Jones.


 THE WITNESS: Have me dragging out in the cold in the wintertime and everything and shit.

 THE COURT: Mr. Jones, did you have any questions?

 DEFENDANT JONES (the great-grandson): No.

 THE COURT: All right. You may step down.

 THE WITNESS: And since when did he get a law degree? Dumbass.

 THE BAILIFF: Ma’am, you’re finished, okay?

 THE WITNESS: Damn right. Get the hell out of here and get back home.

 THE BAILIFF: Okay, you don’t need to say anything else, okay?

Law degree or not, give the great-grandson credit for the smart strategy decision not to cross-examine.  Small wonder the prosecutor described the great-grandmother as “one of the most entertaining witnesses this writer has ever encountered” in the state’s appellate brief.

— Trial Transcript, State of Ohio v. Jones, Case No. 2014CA-00051, at 209 (Ohio 5th Ct. App.).  Thanks to Laura Ozak.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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