Nursing Voices

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mr. Jailbird's Day in Court


I went to court yesterday to confront Mr. Jailbird, the man who attacked my coworkers and me a few months back. He looked “thrilled” to be in court. He cut his hair, cleaned himself up, and was accompanied to court by his social worker and his therapeutic foster parents. He’s an adult who is still in the foster care system. Go figure. His posse glared at me and the other nurses like we were deviants for making Mr. Jailbird talk to a judge about his criminal behavior. I stared back at them. Let the games begin.


My coworkers and I sat through many mini hearings in the courtroom before they got to our case. We were the last ones on the court docket. Our assailant didn’t enter the courtroom until the last minute. He was waiting in the public defender's office. Right before our case was called, the court bailiff whispered something in the judge’s ear. Then the judge called a brief recess. There was a commotion at the bench as the judge was ushered to his chambers by security. The states attorney told us that Mr. Jailbird’s public defender had just warned the court of her clients escalating behavior. He was making threats against the judge and the witnesses in his case. The state’s attorney was smiling. Mr. Jailbird had just proven her case. Extra security officers quickly entered the courtroom. Then the judge came back into the courtroom and he started the trial.


I testified first. Mr. Jailbird was about ten feet away from me as I recalled the events to the best of my ability. I could hear his chair creaking as he rocked in his seat. I glanced over once at Mr. Jailbird. His eyes locked on me. I fought back tears when the state’s attorney showed me the evidence bag containing the shank Mr. Jailbird used in the assault. I took a deep breath and focused on the judge. Then the public defender asked me questions. She tried to rattle me, but I took my time answering her questions. She knew her case was a lost cause because she was the one who had tipped off the court about her client’s threats.

In the end, Mr. Jailbird was found guilty of 2nd degree assault and malicious destruction of property. The sentencing phase of the trial will take place in 90 days. The judge wants a court physiatrist to examine Mr. Jailbird before he decides what to do with him. In the meantime, Mr. Jailbird is going back home with his foster parents. The judge put him on a short leash. Mr. Jailbird was told that he would go to the poky if he acts up while he awaits his sentence. The judge also asked me when I wanted to make my victim statement. He said, “Do you want to do it now or later, although I can just imagine what you’re going to say. *Snort* " I’ll make my statement when the judge rules in the case.


I bumped into Mr. Jailbird’s social worker as I was leaving court. She told me that no one currently involved in his case knew anything about Mr. Jailbird’s past exploits at the hospital. She showed me a legal pad filled with notes, and she told me that she was going to be making a lot of phone calls when she got home from court. Then I saw Mr. Jailbird's foster parents in the parking lot. They looked shell shocked. Mr. Jailbird faces ten years in jail and $25,000 fine. I just have one more thing to say:

Throw em’ in jail!

13 Comments:

Blogger Monica said...

I hope and pray that man goes to jail. As a student just starting nursing school this is so scary to hear! Let's hope the good ole' American judicial system still works . . .

8:02 PM  
Blogger mojitogirl said...

If you give'em enough rope, eventually they hang themselves.

Let's keep our workplace free of violence. If more nurses pressed charges, there would be more public awareness of the matter. We need to get rid of the "conspiracy of silence" that our administrators try to induce when situations like yours occur in the workplace.

Good for you! I knew you'd handle it well.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Elaine said...

I hope the sentencing comes soon. I hope the foster parents are safe.
I hope he does not attempt to attack any of the court or the nursing personnel.

Good for you to stand up and be heard.

The whole thing must have been so awful - the attack and the courtroom both.

Best of luck and loads of silent support

4:50 AM  
Blogger artillerywifecq said...

I don't care how sick you are if you assault someone you are still responsible. The fact that the hospital is covering it up and making you feel like could have prevented the situation is reprehensible. Unless you made a huge mistake the victim should not be blamed. All hospitals are filled with pictures, frames and shank-making materials, its impossible to prevent this kind of attack. I hope he goes away for a while, is punished for what he did, and gets the help he needs.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

That's true..we don't want him to be Mr Parolee.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

YES! Go get 'em, tiger! Sorry you had to endure the whole court thing...but this looks like one that will NOT slip through the system anymore.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Forty_Two said...

Rabid human are no diffrent from rabid dogs.

9:52 AM  
Blogger ButtercupRN said...

Wow,sounds rough but you did great!
I hope that POS spends a lot of time in jail.

11:58 AM  
Blogger miss mouse said...

Good for you for testifying! Now, what about suing the hospital for work related injury, physical and emotional damages, etc.? Don't know the laws or if you want to do this, but it would seem to me that if this guy gets convicted and serves time that it might strengthen your position and weaken that of the hospital administration, who do not seem to understand that this event was a criminal act.

9:57 PM  
Blogger tammyswofford said...

I am glad you held up well in court and under cross examination, friend.

This man is just a complete loser who masks his intense hatred with a psychiatric cornucopia of complaints.

A primary diagnosis of meaner than a junkyard dog is not out of the question.

I do hope he goes to the pokey before he tries to assault another person.

Tammy

10:14 PM  
Blogger The R.N. formerly known as Angry Male Nurse said...

You rock! I'm proud to have a nurse with your chutzpah and strength in our field. You remind me that nurses are not to be messed with and your performance on the stand is evidence of your (and our) strong mettle.
Hospital management and the former patient are to blame. Looks like they will be working it out.

4:14 AM  
Blogger Vinia Chriszon said...

What a devastating experience. I agree, there are so much safety hazards in our work place; we should allow no room for violence.

I'm glad you carried the situation with utmost composure.

Keep on inspiring! :o)

11:21 PM  
Blogger Bhanu said...

I hope and pray that man goes to jail. As a student just starting nursing school this is so scary to hear! Let's hope the good ole' American judicial system still works . .
Let's keep our workplace free of violence. If more nurses pressed charges, there would be more public awareness of the matter. We need to get rid of the "conspiracy of silence" that our administrators try to induce when situations like yours occur in the workplace.
regards ,
phe9oxis.
http://www.guidebuddha.com

6:26 AM  

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