Judge Lets Inmate Meet His Baby for First Time in Court

Boy had been born 30 days prior
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2016 2:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – James Roeder has been in jail, charged with burglary and under orders from a judge not to see his wife, Ashley—who is charged in the same burglary. That means that when Roeder appeared in court for a hearing Friday, he had not yet met his baby son, born just 30 days prior. Ashley was in the same Kentucky courtroom for her own hearing, and as James came out for his case to be called, "I saw her try to hold the baby up," Judge Amber Wolf tells WDRB. "It occurred to me after we finished this case that he had not met his baby." She says Roeder had expressed concern before his son's birth about whether he'd be able to meet the boy right away. That's when Wolf made a decision that caused happy tears in her courtroom, in a scene that was captured on video.

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Wolf asked Ashley Roeder if she wanted James to meet his son, and Ashley said yes. Wolf called James back, called Ashley up to the bench, and explained that a no-contact order still applied, but that she was making a temporary exception "so that you can meet this baby. This is your son." Ashley handed James the baby, and he held and kissed him. "If you all aren't teared up, then you're just heartless," the judge said to those in the courtroom. The Roeders were arrested on May 20, accused of stealing six flat-screen TVs from a warehouse on Feb. 9. As KMBC reports, Wolf is the same judge who recently made headlines for her anger over an inmate who showed up in court sans pants. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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