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Ahmad Rashad Cross, 37, will spend at least 180 days in the Coffee County Jail (and possibly as many as 540) after he disrupted court during a probation revocation hearing last week. The Court found that Cross did not violate his probation and he would have been released from jail had he not exhibited, as is stated in the ruling, “the most vile misbehavior the Court has witnessed in 22 years on the bench.”
Cross, a convicted felon, was in jail for allegedly violating his probation by possessing a firearm. The case against him was flimsy and he had a good defense. The hearing took place on May 25, 2023, and Cross appeared in court from the Coffee County Jail via WebEx video.
The ruling states that Cross began the hearing by firing his lawyer and stating he wanted to represent himself. He would interject commentary and/or foul language during the proceedings. Judge Dwayne Gillis presided over the hearing and warned Cross not to interrupt the State or make any comments. Court documents state that Cross wouldn’t sit down and when told he could stand, he walked out of the camera frame at least once.
On four occasions, Cross accused the system and the Court of being racist. Documents state that Cross said “the system is racist and wanted to ‘send us up the river’ and the Court was entrenched in ‘systematic racism.’” At one point, the documents state, Cross refused to testify because the Court wouldn’t believe him “because a witness was white.” Cross did eventually testify but in doing so, he used “his customary foul language and behavior.”
Cross cursed in court 13 times, including calling a witness a “bald headed a$$ f***” and a “lying a$$” during testimony. Documents also state that Cross threatened his mother-in-law, who was a witness, four times, including saying things like “want you dead,” “I hope she dies,” and “when you leave you die.” Cross also accused witnesses of lying and continued talking about things the Court warned him not to.
Cross was told if he did not heed the Court’s warnings, he would be gagged. The Court also muted the WebEx system multiple times. While muted, Cross would shoot birds at the camera. He also “would gesture towards his groin area with his arms in a thrusting manner (three times). These actions were committed during witness testimony.”
The outbursts continued until a jail officer aimed a taser at Cross during the hearing.
Though Cross eventually apologized, the Court found that his actions warranted imprisonment. In an interesting twist, Judge Gillis found that Cross did not violate his probation. Had he not acted in such a manner, he would have been released from jail that day. However, Cross was sentenced to 20 days in jail for each outburst. There were 27 instances, according to court documents, bringing the total number of days to serve to 540. Judge Gillis agreed to suspend all but 180 days if Cross decides to submit a written and WebEx apology “for his misbehavior.”
Cross began serving his sentence immediately and remains in the Coffee County Jail.
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