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Attorney spots alleged assault suspect, victim in same home on virtual court appearance

Posted at 11:49 AM, Mar 10, 2021

STURGIS, Mich. -- A preliminary examination in Michigan was adjourned abruptly recently after it was discovered the alleged assault suspect and victim were participating in the virtual hearing from the same home.

The hearing was streamed online and posted to the judge’s YouTube channel. Watch the full hearing below.

Coby Harris was appearing before the St. Joseph County District Court on March 2, facing accusations of assault with intent to commit bodily harm less than murder. Mary Lindsey, the victim, says the Feb. 9 assault started with an argument at a home in the town of Sturgis.

During the hearing, Lindsey could be seen looking off camera several times.

Several minutes into the hearing, Deborah Davis, assistant to the prosecuting attorney and representing Lindsey, stopped and said something that changed the direction of the hearing.

“Your honor I have reason to believe that the defendant is in the same apartment as the complaining witness right now and I’m extremely scared for her safety,” Davis said.

“I want some confirmation that she is safe before we continue,” she added.

The judge asks both Lindsey and Harris to tell him the address of where they are participating in the call from. Harris is asked to walk outside with his phone and show the address. Harris says he can’t because his phone is low on battery and needs to remain plugged in.

Davis tells the court the police are at Lindsey’s door to make sure she is OK.

Lindsey takes her phone to the door and everyone listens in as she talks to the officers at the door of her home.

Then her phone drops off the hearing’s Zoom call as Harris looks off screen and eventually turns off his camera.

After a pause, Harris pops up on the Zoom call again, this time on Lindsey’s phone.

“I’m sorry I lied to you. I knew the cops were outside,” Harris said while in police custody, referring to giving a different address earlier. The judge cut him off and told him not to say anything more.

“You hit bottom and you’re continuing to dig,” the judge added, rescheduling the hearing and cancelling Harris’ bond.

“We didn’t have this issue when we had live court,” the judge says, adding his appreciation of the Sturgis police to quickly respond.