CINCINNATI - A judge had prepared on Thursday to sentence former judge and conservative activist Tim Nolan on human trafficking charges.
Nolan had other plans, according to our partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer. In a wild court hearing, it seemed as if Nolan tried everything he could to throw up obstacles in his sentencing.
He fired his attorneys; asked to withdraw his guilty plea; accused the judge's family of having a vendetta against him; asked the judge to recuse herself; and, just before the hearing ended, asked to represent himself.
As a result, Nolan's sentencing has been postponed to May 4.
The crazy hearing left the judges, attorneys and even the defendant struggling to figure out what to do.
"Under oath, he says one thing, back there another thing, what is going on?" said Judge Kathleen Lape.
Even Nolan admitted at one point, "I'm confused."
The judge set a hearing on May 4 to decide the issue of the guilty plea and possible sentencing.
The turn of events came as a surprise to Nolan's attorneys, Margo Grubbs and Mike Williams.
Grubbs said in court she wasn't told the reasons on Thursday why he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea. Nolan also moved to fire his attorneys due to a conflict of interest that wasn't explained in court.
"He has not informed us of the reasons behind it," Grubbs said.
Grubbs than gathered her files and sat in the back of the courtroom with the public. A public defender, Eva Haber, got the call to come to the Nolan hearing while she was in the jail across the street doing arraignments. She was appointed his attorney at a cost of $350 an hour to Nolan.
The wild hearing meant one of the more convoluted and disturbing cases in the area will languish in court a little longer. And his 19 victims alleged by the Kentucky Attorney General will have to wait for a resolution.
In February, Nolan pleaded guilty to 21 counts related to human trafficking and unlawful transaction with a minor dating back to 2004.
He used drugs, threats of arrest and threats of eviction to force women and girls under the age of 18 into sex acts, according to the charges in the plea agreement.
In addition to human trafficking and attempted human trafficking, the charges included giving drugs and alcohol to minors.
Under the plea agreement, Nolan was supposed to serve 20 years in prison and pay a $100,000 fine.
The case has shocked the region. Nolan served as a district judge in the late 1970s and early 1980s and had become a well-known political figure. He campaigned locally for President Donald Trump, was vocal on many conservative/tea party issues, and was elected to the Campbell County School Board in 2016.
After more than three hours of recesses, asides and private conferences on Thursday, Nolan re-entered the courtroom in shackles and asked the judge to recuse herself.
And it only got weirder from there as Nolan kept throwing obstacles in the process.
Nolan claimed when he was a district judge 30 years ago, he presided over a DUI case involving one of her brothers.
"Your family has taken retaliatory measures against me," Nolan told Lape.
Lape told Nolan she has no idea what he's referring to or any DUI case. Nolan asked if her brother would testify. Lape asked which brother.
"How many brothers do you have?" Nolan asked.
"Since you know so much about my family, you should know," Lape responded.
Just as the hearing was about to end, Nolan then asked to represent himself as co-counsel.
Lape agreed to let him be co-counsel with the public defender. But she warned Nolan to have his attorney present and ready to go on May 4.