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MD Judge Pleads Guilty in Shocking Defendant

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A former Maryland judge has pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation for ordering a defendant to be physically shocked in his courtroom.

Robert Nalley of La Plata, Maryland, pleaded guilty in federal court in Maryland on Monday. According to a statement of facts he agreed to, Nalley was presiding over a criminal trial for a man in July 2014 when the incident happened.

The man was representing himself and during jury selection, he read from a prepared statement, objecting to Nalley's authority to conduct the proceedings. After the man repeatedly ignored questions and commands to stop speaking, Nalley ordered a deputy sheriff to activate a so-called "stun-cuff" the defendant was wearing.

Both prosecutors and Nalley's lawyer are expected to recommend one year of probation when he is sentenced in March.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.