Twenty-nine year old Kevin R. Smith of New London dropped to his knee this afternoon and proposed to his girlfriend as he was being sentenced in New London Superior Court to nine months in prison for a violation of probation.
She said yes, and off to prison he went.
A lot of things can happen in courtrooms, but longtime court employees and defense attorneys said they had never seen anything quite like this.
According to several witnesses, Smith popped the question while Judge John M. Newson was canvassing him, or asking Smith questions to ensure he understood the proceeding. At the end of the canvas, as is customary, Newson asked Smith if he had anything to say. That's when Smith turned to his girlfriend, who was watching from a courtroom bench, and proposed.
With that, his judicial marshals led Smith away to the courthouse lockup, and his newly-minted fiance, who was crying, left the courtroom.
According to his court file, Smith, whose last known address was on Gardner Avenue, was convicted of second-degree larceny and sentenced in November 2012 to six months in prison followed by three years of probation. He was released in February 2013 and began serving his probation. He tested positive for marijuana and PCP and failed to report for treatment, and was charged with violation of probation in August 2013. He has been held in lieu of $50,000 since his arrest and is currently being housed at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution.