So there are plenty of unintended consequences when it comes to the way we have responded to Covid. But this one right here is straight out of a suspense thriller.
So here we have Coby Harris, a real stand up guy, facing a felony charge of "assault with intent to commit bodily harm less than murder," which, for him, carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years, because he is a habitual offender.
Well, during the preliminary hearing, which occurred over Zoom (because Covid), Harris tried to get away with something extra sleazy: he entered the Zoom courtroom while sitting in the same apartment as his alleged victim, Mary Lindsey, who was also on the Zoom call (separately). The two have dated in the past, but are no longer together.
Lindsey seemed very uncomfortable during the hearing. And of course she was, SHE WAS SITTING IN THE SAME ROOM AS HER ABUSER! Who knows what kind of threats were made to her before this thing got underway. I can't imagine.
Okay, here's the awkward video (don't worry, nobody gets hurt):
That's scary stuff, and I'm glad Deborah Davis and her boss were on top of this. Without the police presence there is no clear answer as to what could've happened to Mary Lindsey after this hearing was over.
Now, I must leave you with this, because, again, our response to Covid has left us exposed in many ways:
"This is an issue we didn't have when we were having live court ... This is the first time, to my knowledge ... that this has occurred," [Judge] Middleton said. "Kudos to the Sturgis Police Department for following up on this."
"That's the first time I ever had anybody sitting in the next room potentially intimidating a witness to assault," Middleton said.
Coby Harris has now also been charged with obstruction of justice.