Man admits to chair tantrum: City resident says he wasn’t trying to hurt court staff

Jordan L. Rhoades
Jordan L. Rhoades

After admitting his guilt, a Columbus man could receive up to six years in prison for hurling chairs at a judge and courtroom staff earlier this year.

Jordan L. Rhoades, 21, of 465 Clifty Drive, accepted a plea bargain Monday by admitting he is guilty of battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer, a Level 5 felony.

In exchange, prosecutors in Bartholomew Superior Court 1 agreed to drop two other pending felony charges: Attempted battery against a public safety official and an offense against a computer user.

Special Judge Timothy B. Day of Decatur County will decide whether to accept the plea agreement during the sentencing hearing at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 22.

The charge stems from incidents that occurred during a Feb. 9 sentencing hearing. After Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge Kathleen “Kitty” Tighe Coriden sentenced Rhoades to one year in jail for probation violations, he repeatedly said a vulgarity loud enough for the judge to hear.

Security surveillance video showed that after Coriden added 90 more days for contempt of court, Rhoades hurled a chair that hit deputy prosecutor Jeremy Fisk on the leg, slightly injuring him.

Rhoades then methodically picked up another chair and threw it at the bench toward Coriden and the court staff, followed by two more hurls that damaged courtroom computer equipment.

Shortly after Rhodes left the third-floor courtroom moments, he was arrested on the first floor without incident by Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department deputy Jonathan Allen.

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

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.