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Judge drops Sharon man’s contempt case

WARREN — A Sharon, Pa., man apologized to a Trumbull County judge Thursday for his behavior during a court hearing last week.

Common Pleas Judge Ronald J. Rice decided to drop contempt charges against defendant Phillip J. Root, 41.

“I was out of line. I was not aware of some of the things going on, and I realize it was your courtroom, your honor,” Root said to Rice, who accepted the apology.

On Oct. 1, Rice threw Root out of his courtroom and considered the contempt charge after the angry inmate verbally blasted the judge for not allowing the other inmates in court to speak with their attorneys.

Deputies had to escort the handcuffed prisoner out of the courtroom, delaying Root’s arraignment on two counts of aggravated robbery dating back to 2015 incidents in Masury.

Prosecutors said the case against Root has been delayed because he has been in prison in Pennsylvania.

Root, who pleaded not guilty Thursday, has been charged in the Jan. 31, 2015, robbery at the Dollar General on Addison Road and the Feb. 3, 2015, robbery of the Circle K on South Irvine Avenue, police reports state.

Root, who was arrested on Aug. 21, remains in jail pending the posting of a $25,000 bond that was set in Eastern District Court.

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