FAIRFIELD — A local political gadfly was jailed Wednesday afternoon and will likely spend the long Thanksgiving weekend behind bars after being found guilty of a pair of misdemeanor charges.
Richard Giddens was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs at the end of a raucous two-day jury trial in which Giddens acted as his own attorney.
It took the jury less than 15 minutes to reach its verdicts.
Giddens faced a misdemeanor battery charge for hurling a bicycle at a census worker who had come to Giddens’ home in Suisun City on the afternoon of May 14, 2010. The damage done to the census worker’s bicycle led to a misdemeanor vandalism charge.
Giddens described the encounter as a “strange confluence of events.”
In his closing argument Giddens, who did not testify, accused prosecutor Kathy Murray of colluding and conspiring with the trial judge, Daniel Healy.
Murray objected to the accusation.
With a chortle, Healy responded saying, “Uh, yeah, that’s probably improper.”
The objection was just one of scores of objections Murray made while Giddens tried to wade his way through the complexities of criminal trial law.
Giddens said the case was contrived and that Suisun City police and Murray were making a mountain out of a molehill.
Giddens claimed he had the right to throw the bicycle because federal laws about obstructing mailboxes were being violated.
During the first day of trial, Giddens’ courtroom behavior was met with Healy making repeated warnings. Late in the day, Healy took the unusual step of finding Giddens in contempt of court. A hearing on the contempt charge was postponed until Nov. 28.
Healy also took exception to Giddens having his 15-year-old son testify about what happened while wearing an Air Force cadet uniform. The son admitted talking with his father about the incident but denied being coached about his testimony. Healy said the uniform was manipulative and improper.
Healy was so troubled by Giddens’ conduct and behavior that he ordered him locked up on $40,000 bail. Then Healy took the highly unusual extra step of ordering that the bail must be paid in full in cash.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.