Authorities held a woman back and the crowd screamed as a deputy removed ex-judge Tracie Hunter from the courtroom Monday morning after she was ordered to begin a six-month sentence.
Judge Patrick Dinkelacker executed the sentence despite push back from Hunter's supporters and a letter from the mayor.
Hunter was convicted of mishandling a confidential document in 2014. She has been free since then because she has been appealing.
After Dinkelacker ordered authorities to take her to jail, Hunter appeared to go limp as she stood from her seat, and a deputy dragged her out of the courtroom.
“She passed out,” someone yelled, but Hunter appeared to be conscious. She looked around and flicked her fingers as the deputy dragged her from the courtroom.
"This city is going to burn," someone shouted.
At least one person was taken into custody after Dinkelacker handed down the decision, authorities said.
In a letter, Mayor John Cranley asked Dinkelacker to not execute Hunter's sentence.
Cranley said Hunter should not be placed in jail because she’s been punished enough professionally and because she has not committed a violent crime.
“I appreciate that she has been convicted but serving prison time seems to me to be disproportionate to her crime,” Cranley said.
Prior to Dinkelacker’s decision, he read a letter from Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, which said Hunter has never felt remorse and that he believes she has some sort of “mental condition.” Deters asked that Hunter be evaluated before her sentence is executed.
Hunter’s attorney, David Singleton, asked Dinkelacker to not execute the sentence that was imposed and to give Hunter’s attorneys time to file a motion to dismiss the case.
“I would ask you on behalf of Tracie Hunter to end this today for her," Singleton said. "She has had as a result of this case, she’s lost everything."
Dinkelacker said he has received 45 postcards at his home pressuring him to exonerate Hunter.
Dinkelacker said no judge should have to go through what he has gone through.
“I will never, ever, ever bow to that type of pressure,” Dinkelacker said.
Attorneys for Hunter have contended the case against her stemmed from politics. The Democrat took the bench after being declared the winner of a disputed 2010 election.
She stood trial on eight other counts that were dismissed after a jury couldn't reach a verdict on them.
Supporters have rallied publicly for allowing her to remain free.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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