Man sent to jail after using expletive in court

LISBON – Showing blatant disrespect to Judge Carol Robb in Columbiana County Municipal Court on Thursday landed one former East Palestine man in the county jail after he used a sexually based expletive when he addressed her.

James V. Rhodes, 39, Youngstown, was found in direct contempt and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Bond was set at $50,000 cash or surety in the new case for which Rhodes was in court, but he is prohibited from posting bond until after the 30-day sentence is imposed.

According to several sources from the courtroom, Rhodes had been arguing about a possible protection order violation, telling the court he knows the woman had called Assistant Prosecutor Megan Payne. The woman reportedly had told Payne she invited Rhodes into her home. Rhodes was unhappy when he was told he could still be found in violation for going there.

When Robb reportedly began lecturing Rhodes, requesting he show some respect to the court, he compounded the issue by rolling his eyes at her. She continued lecturing him and he then got out of his seat, placed his cigarettes and cell phone on the podium in the court room, placed his hands behind his back and uttered, “(expletive) you.”

He was taken into custody immediately and taken to the county jail.

Rhodes was in court for a scheduled pretrial on charges of assault and criminal mischief for allegedly damaging the vehicle of Ashley Baun by striking it with a log, as well as punching Sally Lewis in the face, blackening her eye. A March 20 court trial was set for those two charges.

A motion hearing and pretrial was for Feb. 14 for Rhodes, charged with driving under FRA suspension.

Rhodes has a long criminal record with the municipal court, including more than 50 traffic and criminal cases dating back to 1992.