Judge: Man who made YouTube videos violated probation, but not for threatening another judge
Judge Scott DiClaudio sentenced Erond Simmons to jail time after finding that he committed two violations while on house arrest.
A YouTube video in which Erond Simmons told a judge, “You dead. … Dead man walking,” constituted a threat but didn’t rise to the level of a crime, another Philadelphia judge ruled Monday.
But Simmons, 43, of Wynnefield, wasn’t entirely off the hook. Common Pleas Court Judge Scott DiClaudio found him in violation of his probation on other matters and sentenced him to six to 23 months in a city jail with work-release eligibility.
Simmons’ recent troubles before DiClaudio began after he posted a YouTube video of himself Oct. 1 complaining about Family Court Judge Christopher Mallios, who had renewed a protection-from-abuse order against Simmons by his estranged wife.
As a precaution, DiClaudio had ordered Simmons jailed. Simmons has been under a two-year probationary sentence since pleading guilty in November 2018 to misdemeanor charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle, fleeing from police, and criminal mischief for driving a stolen trash truck on Broad Street during the May 6, 2018, Broad Street Run.
A threat against Mallios could have violated his probation.
DiClaudio said Monday that what Simmons had said about Mallios in the video was a threat, but agreed with Simmons’ public defender, Alison Lipsky, that it amounted to “transitory anger” — that Simmons was angry and venting, but did not intend to act on his threat and therefore had not violated probation.
At a hearing Oct. 17, DiClaudio had ordered Simmons released from jail and placed on house arrest. And what got Simmons in trouble Monday was another YouTube video he made while on house arrest.
The judge had ordered a mental health evaluation for Simmons, who promised to take any medications prescribed. But shortly after being released to house arrest, Simmons made another video in which he told DiClaudio in vulgar language that he would not actually take his medications, DiClaudio said Monday.
DiClaudio said he was finding Simmons in violation of his probation because of his “lack of candor with the court.” The judge also found Simmons in violation of probation because he had left his house a half-hour earlier than allowed one weekend morning to go to work.
Simmons, who has been back in jail since late October, will get credit for time served. The judge set a Jan. 24 status date, during which, he said, he would consider putting Simmons back on house arrest if he has no problems behind bars.