madison-press.com

Outburst interrupts Hester hearing

By Jane Beathard jbeathard@civitasmedia.com

March 14, 2014

Deputies removed a spectator from the Madison County Common Pleas Courtroom on Thursday, March 13, after he shouted obscenities at Judge Eamon Costello.


The outburst prompted one deputy to grab his Taser while another escorted the angry man outside.


It was the latest in a series of scenes associated with the case of Cameron Hester, 18, of London. Hester is charged with molesting a 4-year-old girl last fall while living in a city apartment complex. He’s charged with a single count of gross sexual imposition, stemming from a Sept. 27 incident.


However, other residents of the complex believe Hester molested their children. As many as 20 appeared at other hearings as emotions in the case ran high.


Costello agreed to continue Thursday’s formal pre-trial at the request of defense attorney Mike Murray. Murray asked for the delay to research potential consequences of a guilty plea by Hester.


Assistant county prosecutor Nick Adkins and Murray disagree if Ohio law requires prison time for a conviction or is left to the discretion of the judge. Murray said required prison time will affect his strategy. Costello gave Murray a week to file a formal continuance.


That decision prompted outcry from one onlooker.


“He’s a (obscenity) rapist,” he shouted. “This is (obscenity).”


Costello ordered the man removed and told others he will not tolerate similar outbursts.


The judge acknowledged the sensitive nature of the charges against Hester and victim frustration with a methodical criminal justice system.


“This is a complicated legal issue,” he explained.


Also on Thursday, Jonathan Short, 54, of Columbus, was sentenced to two years of community control and mental health treatment for illegally possessing prescription painkillers during a March 2013 traffic stop.


Short pleaded guilty in January to two counts of drug possession.


Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.