Albany lawyer says cockroach release delayed client’s release

More details are coming out about the incident in Albany City Court where dozens of cockroaches were released in a courtroom during an arraignment.

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A public defender says if this was some sort of protest, all it did was keep his client in cuffs for longer.

Right now, we know that one person, 34-year-old Clyanna Lightbourn, faces several charges, including disorderly conduct and tampering with evidence.

A source close to the investigation tells NewsChannel 13 Lightbourn is a founding member of Black Lives Matter Upstate New York.

Court papers say she created a distraction with her phone while other members of the court audience dropped the cockroaches.

This all reportedly started during an arraignment. A court spokesperson says a fight led to the bugs being released in protest.

Black Lives Matter of Upstate New York did not confirm whether the group had anything to do with the protest.

NewsChannel 13 received a tip that a protest by Citizen Action of New York called "Pack the Court" was also scheduled for Tuesday, in response to what the group called the violent arrest of a Black community organizer during a housing justice protest on May 17 at the Capitol. No information online provided a location or time that the event occurred.

A lawyer says the court’s shutdown meant his client was handcuffed for hours longer than he would have been before seeing a judge. The lawyer was not present for the cockroach incident, but says his client’s family was distressed as the arraignment was forced to go virtual and delay his client’s release.

NewsChannel 13 also reached out to the Albany County D.A.’s office. A spokesperson said they had no updates to share and refused an interview. Court officials said there were no new updates Wednesday.