Tacoma Judge Leads Super Bowl Cheer Before Sentencing

TACOMA, Wash. -- A Pierce County Superior Court judge startled prosecutors, sheriff's deputies and spectators by leading a Super Bowl cheer for the Seattle Seahawks before a sentencing hearing in a manslaughter case.

After all were told to rise as Judge Beverly G. Grant took the bench Friday, she asked everyone in court to say, "Go Seahawks" before taking their seats. Dissatisfied with the low volume of the response, she repeated the request.

Only then did she hear statements from prosecutors, defense lawyers and relatives of the slain Tino Patricelli, as well as an apology from Steve Keo Teang, before resentencing him to 13 1/2 years in prison.

"The tension was very high, and I thought it would be a way of people just thinking of something else and releasing it," Grant said afterward. "It was a diversion tactic to bring unison in the group."

Now Judge Grant is national news, and neither the victim's nor the defendant's families are amused. Details here from the AP via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

UPDATE: Judge Grant has apologized.