By AFRO Staff

According to a report in the Baltimore Sun, Chief Baltimore Circuit Judge Wanda K. Heard was struck in the head during a morning sentencing hearing on Dec. 11. Judge Heard was struck “somewhere around the middle of her forehead,” according to court officials by a metal water pitcher thrown at her by a defendant in the hearing. Heard, who remained conscious during the assault, recessed the courtroom and received medical attention at the courthouse located at 100 N. Calvert St. downtown. 

Chief Judge Wanda K. Heard was assaulted during a court hearing Dec. 11. (Courtesy Photo)

The defendant Travis Burroughs was taken into custody and will face new charges. Heard had just sentenced Burroughs to life in prison with all but 70 years suspended. He had been convicted of sexual assault charges and false imprisonment last month. Previously, Burroughs was convicted and sentenced last year to decades in prison for second-degree rape, assault and false imprisonment. 

Heard, a native of Long Branch, N.J., has been a judge since 1999 and is the first female Chief Judge in the history of the 8th Judicial Circuit. She graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1982. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 1979.