Trial date set for chair-throwing defendant

An August trial date has been set for a local man accused of hurling courtroom chairs at a judge.

The trial for Jordan L. Rhoades, 20, 465 Clifty Drive, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 8 in Bartholomew Superior Court 1 before Judge James D. Worton.

The Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office charged Rhoades with:

Battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer, a Level 5 felony

Attempted battery against a public safety official, a Level 6 felony

Offense against a computer user, a Level 6 felony

A public defender has been appointed for Rhoades as he continues to serve a 90-day contempt of court sentence in the Bartholomew County Jail handed down by Bartholomew Superior Court 2 Judge Kathleen “Kitty” Tighe Coriden.

Rhoades arrived late the morning of Feb. 9 when scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. hearing in Coriden’s courtroom to revoke his probation. After arriving at 10 a.m., he asked Coriden to sentence him immediately, the judge said. Coriden called for Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Fisk to attend the hearing and then sentenced Rhoades to one year in jail.

When Rhoades went back to sit in the back row of gallery seats in the courtroom, he said a vulgarity loud enough for the judge to hear, she said. When the judge said “Excuse me,” Rhoades said it again and Coriden added a 60-day contempt-of-court sentence on to Rhoades’ jail time. He then said it again and Coriden added 30 more days to the contempt of court sentence.

Rhoades then stood, picked up a chair and hurled it at the court bench, hitting Fisk on the leg, slightly injuring him, a video of the incident shows. Rhoades then methodically picked up another chair and threw it at the bench toward Coriden and the court staff, followed by two more chairs being thrown at Coriden’s bench, the video shows.

When interviewed by police, Rhoades admitted he had thrown the chairs in the courtroom but claimed he was just trying to hit the computer, court documents state.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.