Man gets 6 months in jail for court outburst

Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 7:09 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 7:09 a.m.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. A man has been sentenced to nearly six months in jail for an outburst in a West Palm Beach court in which he declared a man on trial for murder as being innocent.

A judge on Tuesday handed down the sentence to 23-year-old David A. Coole on a contempt charge. Courtroom observers said that after Coole's testimony in the trial of Patrick "P.J." Melehan, he said "P.J. is innocent" as he left the courtroom.

The judge asked Coole why he shouldn't be held in contempt, and apparently his answer didn't satisfy. Coole was given the maximum penalty for contempt five months and 29 days in jail by Circuit Judge Lucy Chernow Brown.

Attempts to find an attorney for Coole seeking comment were unsuccessful.

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