QUINCY — Judge Bob Adrian did not complete the remainder of his court docket Wednesday after throwing Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County State’s Attorney’s office, out of his courtroom for a “comment” Jones recently made on social media.
Frank McCartney of Pittsfield, chief judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court, said he drove to Quincy Wednesday to review and address comments made by Adrian.
“I was made aware of the situation (Wednesday morning),” he said late Wednesday afternoon. “There are going to be some things done over the next few days and weeks that will hopefully alleviate some of the issues. I can’t comment any further than that right now.”
Adrian was in courtroom 1B at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday for status hearings on a series of felony cases in Adams County Circuit Court. After Adrian entered the courtroom and was seated, he told Jones to get out of the courtroom.
“I’m not on social media, but my wife is,” Adrian told Jones in the courtroom. “She saw the thumbs up you gave to people attacking me. I can’t be fair with you today. Get out.”
Adrian apparently was upset that Jones reacted to a Tuesday post on QUANADA’s Facebook page by “liking” the post, which is indicated by a blue thumb’s-up logo.
The post included a statement from Megan Duesterhaus, executive director of the Quincy Area Network Against Domestic Abuse (QUANADA). She expressed her outrage about Adrian’s decision to reverse one of his own rulings on Jan. 3.
After finding 18-year-old Drew Clinton guilty of one count of criminal sexual assault during a bench trial on Oct. 15, Adrian changed his mind at Clinton’s sentencing hearing and declared him not guilty.
The Facebook post also had a photo of the QUANADA logo that said “Hold rapists accountable” underneath.
After Adrian completed the 8:30 a.m. docket, Judge Amy Lannerd covered the rest of Adrian’s cases for the day.
McCartney didn’t want to comment when asked if Adrian would be back in the courtroom on Thursday or Friday.
Comments Adrian made after he reversed his decision in the Clinton case infuriated many people in the courtroom and people who read about them on social media.
“I cannot believe the adults (who) were involved in this case, parents and other adults who were involved in this case, took their responsibilities so lightly for these teenage kids,” he said during the Jan. 3 sentencing hearing. “I cannot believe the permissiveness and the lack of responsibility taken by everyone involved in this case.
“The court is totally disgusted with that whole thing.”
The Eighth Judicial Circuit Court is comprised of eight counties — Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Mason, Menard, Pike and Schuyler.