Former judge pleads guilty to having defendant shocked

A former Maryland judge has pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation for ordering a defendant to be physically shocked in his courtroom.

Robert Nalley of La Plata, Maryland, pleaded guilty in federal court in Maryland on Monday. According to a statement of facts he agreed to, Nalley was presiding over a criminal trial for a man in July 2014 when the incident happened.

The man was representing himself and during jury selection, he read from a prepared statement, objecting to Nalley's authority to conduct the proceedings. After the man repeatedly ignored questions and commands to stop speaking, Nalley ordered a deputy sheriff to activate a so-called "stun-cuff" the defendant was wearing.

Both prosecutors and Nalley's lawyer are expected to recommend one year of probation when he is sentenced in March.