Woman “welcomes” judge to new courthouse

Feb. 18, 2013 @ 05:29 PM

It was the first day that superior court was being held in the new Durham County Courthouse Monday, and each of the four new courtrooms was busy.

Located on the 7th floor of the new building, large windows allow people in the hallways to look out over Durham all the way to Chapel Hill and beyond.

One courtroom at the end of the hallway is particularly nice. It has a large bank of windows with great views, and it’s bigger than the other three courtrooms on the hallway. On Monday, Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour from Orange and Chatham counties was assigned to that courtroom and was listening to arguments between two attorneys about discovery issues when a woman sitting to the side began to scream at him.

The things she said to Baddour can’t be printed in a family newspaper, but using an array of obscenities, she called Baddour a racist and a pig.

“You’re not even as good as a pig,” she yelled as she accused him of being a member of the Taliban.

As a bailiff rushed to quiet her, Baddour told her he was giving her 30 days in jail for contempt of court.

She continued with her obscenity-laced diatribe, calling Baddour another litany of obscene names.

He cited her for contempt again and added another 30 days to her sentence.

Still she continued yelling.

Baddour told the deputy to take her from the courtroom, and as he led her out the door, she yelled at Baddour that she would find out his name.

Later she was brought back into the courtroom surrounded by four deputies. She remained quiet while the clerks finished the paperwork to send her next door to the jail for 60 days. Then a female deputy led her from the courtroom.

A deputy later said that the woman, identified as Miraca Moore, was scheduled to be in court for a driving while impaired charge, but she was not present when the docket was called.

Moore arrived late, and so Baddour ordered her into custody and had her sit on a bench at the side of courtroom. Sometimes when judges do that, their plan is to make the person wait until all the other cases in the courtroom are finished before addressing that person’s case, which apparently enraged Moore.

Welcome to the new courthouse, your honor.