Ignacio Rael: See video of prisoner Tased, hauled into court on judge's order

Meet our video star of the week: Ignacio Rael, convicted of beating his ex-girlfriend to death in 2008.

Rael didn't want to attend his own sentencing, so Montezuma County Judge Douglas Walker ordered him forcibly brought to court, leading to a video of sheriff's officers zapping him with a Taser, extracting him from his filth-bedecked cell and hauling him off in a restraint chair.

See the video below:

Rael got 48 years. Law Week Colorado got the video through an open records request and posted it earlier this week.

Rael didn't bother to attend his trial, during which he was represented by public defenders. But Judge Walker wasn't going to let him skip his own sentencing, issuing an unusual order directing deputies to use "all reasonable and necessary force" to get him to the courtroom.

It's hard to tell if Rael is "resisting" in the video while being smothered by half a dozen officers, but he's zapped at least twice -- and deputies later search unsuccessfully on his body for an unrecovered taser probe while strapping him into a restraint chair. From the looks of the cell, Rael is someone who likes to play with his food, before and after meals.

According to a story in the Cortez Journal, Rael protested his treatment in court. "I was beat, handcuffed and tied to this chair. I'm not an innocent [expletive], but come on, man!"

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast