Lady Justice lifted

Warren man caught with judge’s gavels and statue

WARREN — A Warren man is accused of walking into a Trumbull County Common Pleas courtroom and taking two gavels and a Lady Justice statue from the judge’s chambers.

Ademilson J. Smith, 40, of Adelaide Avenue NE, was taken into custody by Niles police, who claimed he had the stolen goods in a backpack, according to a report with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.

The report states Judge Cynthia Rice’s office was notified by Niles police shortly before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday that Smith was taken into custody by officers investigating a criminal damaging call.

Missing from the judge’s chambers were two wooden gavels from a the bookshelf and a brass statue from her desk. The value of the items is about $300, the report states.

Smith was booked into the Trumbull County jail Tuesday afternoon.

Sheriff deputies on security detail at the courthouse reviewed visitors’ logs and found Smith’s name signed in at 8:23 a.m. Tuesday for a hearing in Judge Andrew D. Logan’s courtroom on the third floor.

A review of security cameras showed Smith entered the courthouse about 8:15 a.m. He went to the second floor and entered Rice’s chambers, the report states. The camera then shows Smith coming out to the hallway and sitting outside of the bailiff and court reporter’s office. He walks into that office for a minute, comes out and goes to the restroom. He then exits the courthouse about 8:29 a.m., cameras show.

At 11:30 a.m., deputies received a call from Niles police Chief Jay Holland, who said officers were investigating someone smashing windows near a Niles business, and Smith was apprehended during that investigation. Smith was carrying backpacks and upon the search of a backpack, Niles police found the court items.

The deputies saved the camera footage, the report states, and pictures of the stolen items were taken by Niles police.

According to jail records, Smith faces charges of resisting arrest, criminal damaging or endangering, receiving stolen property, possessing criminal tools, obstructing official business and criminal trespass in Niles Municipal Court.


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