A drug dealer had to appear in court from the back of an ambulance as moving him would have endangered his health due to his size.
42-year-old Kirk Lenell Smith entered a guilty plea from the ambulance, which was backed up to the loading dock at Hamilton Courthouse, Cincinnati, as officials believed it would be easier and safer for him to stay in the ambulance than try and get into the courtroom.
Smith, who is believed to weigh more than 600 pounds, pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking and being a felon in possession of a gun.
Commons Pleas Judge Tom Heekin said in a statement, via the Cincinnati Enquirer: ‘Moving Kirk Smith from the ambulance would endanger his health and well-being.’
Heekin sentenced the 42-year-old to a two-year prison sentence, which had been agreed on as part of the plea deal.
The judge appeared at the side of the ambulance with one foot inside, while court reporters stood nearby.
Smith reportedly gave one or two word answers throughout the hearing, and when asked if he wanted to make a statement the 42-year-old appeared to try but was unable to speak.
In April 2018, police searched Smith’s home and found a backpack containing a stash of cocaine, which was ‘in an amount indicative of trafficking’, as well as a loaded Kel-Tec 9mm gun, according to court documents.
Smith has a history of cocaine trafficking – he was convicted of the crime in 2009 and sentenced to three years in prison. Court records showed he also had cocaine trafficking convictions dating back to 1999.
According to reports, when police searched Smith’s house, officers read him his rights but could not physically arrest him due to his size.
Sgt. Ryan Hudson, from the Cincinnati Police Department, said Smith had people running the drugs for him and, because of his size, he ‘wasn’t able to move around freely,’ which made it difficult for police to get him out of the house. He added: ‘It made it kind of tough on us to maneuver or almost get him out of the house that particular day. In fact, it was impossible.’
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.