Amber Wolf, a regional court judge in Jefferson County, Kentucky had everyone in her court fighting back tears when she made a heartwarming concession.
James Roeder appeared before her on charges of burglary along with his co-accused, his wife Ashley. The couple broke into a shop and stole six plasma television sets and were taken into custody on 20 May.
The judge insisted from the outset that there should be no contact between James and Ashley to make sure that they wouldn’t be able to discuss the details of the criminal case with each other.
Her request also meant that James had never seen his month-old baby boy and Ashley brought him along to court proceedings.
"I saw her try to hold the baby up when he came out for his case to be called with his attorney," said Judge Wolf.
"And it occurred to me after we finished this case that he had not met his baby -- and that he was not going to get an opportunity to meet his baby anytime in the near future."
Judge Wolf then asked Ashley if she wanted for James to meet the baby to which she answered yes.
She called James back and warned him that he was strictly forbidden from discussing anything about the case in the absence of his attorney. But what the judge said next knocked the wind right of everyone’s sails.
"I know you have a no-contact order between you and Mrs Roeder that I issued and I am not changing that," said Judge Wolf.
"I'm making a temporary exception right in front of me, on the record, so that you can meet this baby. This is your son,” she told James.
Ashley placed their son in his arms so that James could hold him for the first time. The tears began to flow and even Judge Wolf could not hold back her tears at the emotional meeting. She handed out tissues and thanked Ashley for allowing her to be a part of the moment.
"If you all aren't teared up, then you're just heartless," she then said to those present in the courtroom.
After the fact, she said she was proud of her decision.
"I think it was — not as a judge, but just as person — it was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done. It made me feel good."
"And I know from previous interactions from Mr Roeder that he had been very concerned about being able to meet his baby prior to it being born. And I just saw an opportunity that I didn't want to squander."
Wolf was also recently in the news after she spoke out against the treatment of a female prisoner. She brought court proceedings to stand-still when she found out that the woman had received no change of clothes or toiletries during the 72 hours that she spent in holding.
The woman was apparently wearing a pair of shorts under a long t-shoirt and it looked as though she was brought into court wearing no pants.
Sources: wdrb.com, wcpo.com, heavy.com, washingtonpost.com, news.com.au