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3News Investigates: Former Cleveland Judge Pinkey Carr sentenced for filing false court records

'When the judge acts like a jester, justice goes awry,' Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. 'Today's criminal sentencing enforces that no one is above the law.'

CLEVELAND — Following an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that former Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr was found guilty and sentenced for falsification. 

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On Wednesday, Carr pleaded no contest to three counts of falsification. A visiting judge found Carr guilty of the charges and sentenced her to four months of probation. She is also being required to pay the court costs.

"When the judge acts like a jester, justice goes awry," Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. "Today's criminal sentencing enforces that no one is above the law."

During the investigation, Carr was found guilty of conducting arraignment hearings without a prosecutor present and making false statements in the court's records between May 2019 and June 2020. 

Carr's legal career was catapulted by her role in what was one of the most publicized trials in Cuyahoga County history: the capital murder case of serial killer Anthony Sowell in 2011. As an assistant county prosecutor, she helped convict Sowell and send him to death row, though he died in prison in 2021 before he could be executed.

Soon after the trial, Carr was elected to a seat on the Cleveland Municipal Court, where she eventually made global headlines for her unusual punishments like sentencing a woman to hold an "idiot" sign for driving around a stopped school bus.

However, during a 2015 3News Investigates report, we revealed that her unorthodox sentences were actually illegal. It was the first in a string of episodes that would make her a source of aggravation in both local and statewide legal circles

This past October, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended Carr indefinitely following an investigation that found she acted "in a manner befitting a game show host rather than a judge." Among other things, the 57-year-old was found to have ordered relevant parties to appear at hearings in person rather than remotely during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with sending a defendant to jail for 15 days after they apparently rolled their eyes in court and cursed in lockup.

Her law license suspended, Carr eventually resigned altogether, with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine appointing former former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Mark Majer to replace her. During Wednesday's proceedings, her attorney acknowledged "she may never get her license back."

3News' Tyler Carey contributed to this report. 

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