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In Judge Tharpe's courtroom, best to exit quietly

TAMPA — Never, ever slam the door to Circuit Judge Chet A. Tharpe's courtroom — unless you want to end up in chains.

Marbelis Dorado learned that lesson the hard way Wednesday after she punctuated her courtroom exit with a loud thud. The judge had modified her probation as she had asked, but he also read a letter from her probation officer stating that said she regularly defies authority.

Tharpe figured that set her off. She slammed the door so hard, the judge thought she might have broken glass.

"Go get her," Tharpe told the bailiff, who returned with the woman. "Take her into custody."

"Oh, please!" she told him. "I'm sorry!"

"Hook her up," Tharpe responded.

So she sat with other defendants, shackled at the ankles and wrists, weeping into her hands.

More than half an hour later, Tharpe found her guilty of criminal contempt, ordered her to anger management and told her to have a nice day.

This time, she made a more quiet exit.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3354.

In Judge Tharpe's courtroom, best to exit quietly 11/17/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 9:15pm]
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