VIDEO: Judge confronts defendant for using racial slur in Kentucky court

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A tense moment in court was caught on tape when a judge reprimanded a defendant for calling him the N-word. (KTRK)

"It's disrespectful, don't ever do it again."

What had Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens so mad?

When a Kentucky drug defendant shouted a racial epithet at Stevens, he sentenced the man to an extra 60 days in jail.

In the end, however, all the judge really wanted was for the man to apologize.

The racially-charged outburst was caught on camera outside a Louisville courtroom Monday as defendant Adam Satterly had his bond revoked on drug charges.

He stepped out of Steven's courtroom to be taken into custody when he shouted the racial slur, the 'N' word, clearly heard inside the courtroom.

"That's how the new year starts," Judge Stevens says under his breath.

The judge let it go for a minute. Satterly's attorney got his belongings and walked out. Then, the judge ordered deputies to bring Satterly back in.

"Is there something that you wish to say to me?" Stevens is recorded asking.

"Nah, that's my brother," Satterly responds.

"That's to your brother? Because I heard you say a racial epithet."

Satterly struggles. "No, no, no, I didn't meant it like that."

"Oh, you didn't mean it like that?" Stevens says.
In the end, the judge held Satterly in contempt of court and slapped him with another 60 days for using the 'N' word in court.

The sentence was reduced to one day, but not until the defendant apologized for his actions in court.

Dr. Joseph Wert, a dean at Indiana University, says the judge has the right to cite anyone with contempt of court. He also says not all speech is free. But in this case, he says the judge's actions go much further than one hearing.

"It not only punishes the individual who doesn't respect the court, but it also sends a message to others that when they come into court they have to respect that as well," Wert says.

Judge Stevens has been in a battle with Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine over jury selection.

Wine cried foul after Stevens claimed publicly that Wine liked "all-white juries."

About a dozen attorneys we talked to have no problem with Steven's actions in this case.
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