Story Archive

Do Everyone A Favor

Keith Waterbeck, 21, had a long criminal record, and was appearing in Akron (Ohio) Municipal Court for his latest of several parole violations. After a review of his record, Waterbeck asked Judge Michael Weigand to help him by placing him in a court diversion program. “Well, you’re not going to help yourself,” Weigand said. He then explained his dilemma: “balancing spending the taxpayers’ money, or just letting you go out and maybe kill yourself,” the judge said. “But that’s what I’m trying not to do, though,” Waterbeck replied. “Well, you’d be doing society a favor if you did,” Weigand said, on the record. Weigand, a retired judge with more than 40 years of courtroom experience, later said he didn’t regret his choice of words, saying he felt he had to “get the Defendant’s attention.” Thus, “I gave him an alternative, close the case and go home and overdose.” Weigand ended up sentencing Waterbeck to 30 days in a rehab program. “Thank you, your honor,” Waterbeck said when the sentence was given. (MS/Akron Beacon Journal) ...And in 30 days we’ll see if he was scared straight.
Original Publication Date: 23 August 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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