judges-gavel

Maura Dolan
October 24, 201

Jurisprudence is no laughing matter.

Ramon Ochoa, 40, learned that lesson while appearing in Fresno before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill.

Sentenced to nearly six years in prison for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, Ochoa was serving an additional three years on supervised release.

A probation officer wanted that release revoked on the grounds Ochoa had been rude and abusive to the staff at a residential reentry program. He also had tested positive for synthetic cannabis and been found with a small knife, the probation officer said.

Ochoa admitted violating the terms of his release, and the government asked he be imprisoned for one year and one day.

O’Neill, a George W. Bush appointee, lectured him during a sentencing hearing.

“You are disrespectful,” O’Neill said. “You think you can do and say anything you want to say just simply because you disagree. That’s not acceptable.”

The judge continued to upbraid Ochoa, telling him: “You know, you talk about wanting to see your children. This is a way not to see your children.”

O’Neill then sentenced Ochoa to the time recommended.

While the defense lawyer was asking the judge questions, O’Neill noticed Ochoa laughing.

“You think this is funny?” the judge demanded.

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