ST. CHARLES, Ill. (CBS) — A Kane County judge Thursday met an outburst in his courtroom with a contempt citation — and an outburst of his own.
Someone who was in Judge Timothy Sheldon’s courtroom Thursday told WBBM Newsradio that he has never seen anything like it — especially a tirade by a judge directed toward the parents of a teenager who died in a DUI crash.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports
WBBM Newsradio is told that when Judge Sheldon sentenced 20-year-old Josh Lorusso to 30 days in jail for violating probation stemming from the June 2009 crash that killed 17-year-old Cameron Godee, the victim’s father, Gregory Godee, yelled out, “How much did they pay you this time?”
Sheldon immediately ordered Godee held in contempt. When Godee identified himself, Sheldon berated him, saying he and his wife left their son “unattended” the night of the fatal crash and that 300 empty beer cans were found in the Godee home.
“You can’t blame everything on him,” Sheldon said of Lorusso.
But Sheldon then accused Godee’s wife Mary of writing him threatening letters, which she denied.
Before being led away, Godee said he was out of town at work when the accident occurred.
Sheldon declared a brief recess. When the hearing resumed, a quieter Sheldon ordered Godee released “for time served,” and said, “It’s hard to control your temper. But there are places that you have to control it. Now you know the courtroom is one of those places.”
Lorusso had a blood alcohol level of .22 the night of the 2009 accident, and was giving anti-drunk driving talks at area schools until his arrest at a drinking party in Des Plaines.
He will have to wear an electronic monitor for 90 days following his release from the Kane County Jail. He could have been sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.
The Godees promptly filed a complaint against Sheldon with the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.