State admonishes judge for remarks he made at a sentencing

Superior Court Judge Joseph Wilson called a domestic-violence convict an “animal” and silenced him.

EVERETT — A Snohomish County judge was admonished by a state watchdog agency on Friday for repeatedly calling a man convicted of a domestic-violence crime an “animal” and otherwise behaving with discourtesy toward him during a 2017 sentencing.

“You do not have the integrity to talk to me,” Superior Court Judge Joseph Wilson said at one point, silencing the man during his July 10 sentencing, records show.

Wilson on Friday publicly entered a stipulation with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct. He received an admonishment — the least severe disciplinary action. As part of the resolution, the judge agreed to participate in ethics training focused on appropriate courtroom demeanor.

Wilson acknowledged that his conduct fell short of standards.

“I did not treat (the defendant) with respect and I addressed him in a manner I should not have. These statements negatively impact the public’s perception of the court and for that I am sorry,” the judge is quoted as having told investigators.

The incident unfolded as Wilson sentenced Jeremy Androit, 39, to more than 3½ years in prison for a 2016 break-in at the Everett home of a woman he has children with and had been stalking.

Androit pleaded guilty to attempted residential burglary involving domestic violence. He originally had been charged with the more serious crime of domestic violence burglary.

In charging papers, prosecutors noted that Androit had nine convictions for domestic violence crimes, including stalking, violations of protection orders and telephone harassment.

Wilson told the commission he was “profoundly unhappy” with how the case had been resolved. The sentence he imposed was within state guidelines, but he also had pointed words for prosecutors.

“Oh, you had this guy dead to rights,” he said at one point, noting his own history as somebody who has worked to combat domestic violence.

When Androit was given a chance to speak, the man said Wilson was looking at him like he was an animal.

“You are an animal,” the judge said.

The man said that wasn’t so, and he denied being abusive to anyone. He also claimed he hadn’t engaged in the conduct to which he’d pleaded guilty.

Wilson wasn’t persuaded.

“I don’t want to hear from you anymore,” he said at one point. “Nothing you say — nothing that you say has any truth associated with it. You don’t have the integrity to talk to me.”

The commission said the judge’s comments were “unduly confrontational and harsh.”

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