Prosecutor catches alleged abuser in victim’s home during virtual Michigan court hearing

Prosecutor catches accused abuser in same home as victim during zoom court hearing

STURGIS, Mich. – Video of an online court hearing in the town of Sturgis has gone viral because of one thing noticed by an eagle-eyed prosecutor.

Coby Harris, of Sturgis, is accused of assaulting his girlfriend in her home, and when both of them appeared in the hearing remotely, Assistant District Attorney Deborah Davis knew something wasn’t right.

Harris had a no-contact order to stay away from his girlfriend.

During the court hearing, the woman begins to hesitate when being questioned by Davis, who spoke up when she noticed the woman constantly was looking off screen.

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“Your honor, I have reason to believe that the defendant is in the same apartment as the complaining witness right now and I’m extremely scared for her safety,” Davis said.

Judge Jeffrey Middleton then asks for Harris’ location, in which he’s given a fake address.

When asked to go outside and show the number on the house, Harris said the battery on his phone wouldn’t last long enough to do so. After a few more excuses, Davis announces that the police are at the woman’s apartment and are knocking on her door.

The woman’s video goes blank, and Harris’ camera eventually turns off too. Moments pass as his attorney looked on in disbelief.

The woman’s camera turns back on with Harris on screen.

“Your honor, we both don’t want the no-contact order,” Harris said. “I asked that it be dropped. I’m sorry I lied to you.”

Judge Middleton immediately shuts Harris down and adjourns the hearing.

Harris’ bond was canceled and the hearing was rescheduled.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.