It's a fairly nasty sentencing hearing. The defendant has a loooong record and is looking at years of incarceration. He is entirely unrepentant, argumentative with the judge, and absolutely cannot understand why he should get such a long sentence. "Judge, going to prison for 8 years before didn't accomplish anything. Sending me away for 5 won't either." (IKYN) Sobbing in the front row of the gallery are Defendant's mother and sister who both testified, through sobs, about how the last 6 months in jail have finally cured his heroin addiction, that he is a changed man, and that he needs to be out to help raise his 3 year old daughter. It was moving testimony but then the defendant took the stand, argued with the judge, and claimed that his previous attorney did not tell him that there was an offer for 2 years and 1 month and therefore, he now ought to be able to now take that sentence rather than the what the sentencing guidelines call for (funny, I remember spending an entire morning in court with his prior attorney shuttling between me and the defendant negotiating something. I thought it was my plea offer). Defendant's current attorney is getting blasted from all sides (including his client) and apparently decides it's time to take desperate measures.
It's an hour into the hearing and, honestly, we're all pretty much repeating ourselves at this time (when the defendant isn't interrupting me, the defense attorney, or the judge to tell us how we are wrong). I've stood up to make what I hope is my final argument and I'm about 7 minutes into it when I feel something touch me in the back. At first, I ignore it continuing my argument, then it runs up my back. I stop. Maybe the deputy is trying to get my attention? I turn to the right and the deputy is just standing there in his corner bailiffing. Then it moves down my back. I turn to my left and there behind me is the defense attorney and his finger is resting on my back.
"What are you doing?"
"Just trying to distract you and make you forget your argument."