Taos – A judge who warned people in a courtroom gallery to remain quiet during a hearing for a convicted rapist jailed nearly 30 people for contempt of court when he said they became unruly and defiant.
District Judge Sam Sanchez charged the crowd with contempt of court Thursday and sent them to jail, where they remained until being released Friday.
The state Supreme Court granted an emergency writ to release them after a petition from the public defender's office.
The office argued they weren't given individual hearings.
Chief Deputy Public Defender David Eisenberg says 29 of the 32 people listed on the petition were jailed.
The charges were not dropped, however.
Members of the group who range in age from 18 to 71 will face a judge Monday to hear the contempt charge.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.