Defendant is late for court
William Mooney wasn’t present for the 9 a.m. start of his trial, and Judge William E. Baldwin immediately made the call to the Schuylkill County Sheriff’s Department – pick him up. He was on trial for assaulting an EMT.
Mooney had called his counsel to let him know he would be late, but then could not be reached by phone.
Chief Deputy Brian Tobin went to the address on file as Mooney’s residence – which is the address listed as the place he was to reside while on bail awaiting trial. He wasn’t there.
Someone living at that address said that Mooney “hadn’t been there” for some time. Tobin tried Mooney’s sister’s house; not there either. An STS (Schuylkill Transportation System) bus happened to be at a stop nearby, and Tobin checked the bus for Mooney; not there.
Meanwhile, Mooney had gotten on an earlier STS bus, which took him to Shenandoah, and he then took a bus which brought him to Pottsville, dropping him near City Hall. He was more than an hour late for his trial.
As soon as the jury had exited to begin deliberations, Baldwin told Mooney that no matter what the jury decided, he would be facing additional charges. Baldwin had officials swear in Tobin, who testified about the Sheriff’s officers attempt to locate Mooney. Mooney said he had missed a ride and an earlier bus, giving the excuse, “I overslept.”
“You’re going to be held in contempt of court – we couldn’t start because you weren’t here,” Baldwin said. “You’re also in violation of bail conditions.”
A defendant out on bail must remain at the address he or she provides at that time and may not relocate without notifying officials. Baldwin told Mooney he was sentencing him to 10 days in jail on the contempt charge, and would remain in jail until his sentencing date, with Mooney having 30 days to appeal the contempt of court charge.
“You gotta be joking,” Mooney said to Baldwin. Mooney expressed concern about the safety of his “personal property” and told Baldwin he was “not a flight risk.”
“It’s not a question of being a flight risk,” Baldwin said. “I don’t trust you to show back up, and I am not allowing you out.”