Defendant Goes Crazy in Court After Verdict Is Read
A fight broke out inside a court in Florida after verdicts were read.
The chaos ensued in Ocala, Florida, as four young men were on trial for the slaying of Courtney London in 2016. After their guilty verdicts came in, a fracas ensued, Fox35 Orlando reported last week.
Travis Davis, a defendant, could be seen throwing punches at his lawyer, Daniel Hernandez.
“I got about five punches to the back and the side of my head, forehead. I got a few bumps and bruises, some scratches,” Hernandez said. “I’m bleeding out of my hand, I’m not sure how that happened. I guess I may have hit the table or something, so my vision is bad, when I can’t find my glasses. So for two or three minutes, you’re just reacting. You’re not really thinking,” he continued.
“I’ve been trying cases for almost 40 years, and I’d never been struck by a defendant before,” he added.
Jurors had deliberated for nine hours before rendering guilty verdicts for Kiila Tyrell Richardson, 23; Travis Jamaar Davis, 20; Branden J.M. Banks, 22; and Kelvon S. Grimmage, 21, reported the Ocala Star Banner newspaper. London, 28, was shot and killed in his Ocala home in front of his children.
In the court fight, Davis punched Hernandez several times in the head. Grimmage joined in, while Banks stood against the wall, according to the paper. Richardson was being led out of the courtroom as the fight ensued.
Davis later remarked that he was mostly “mad at the moment” when he was questioned about punching his attorney, according to the Star Banner.
Banks, Davis, and Grimmage were hit with Tasers and tackled to the floor and handcuffed.
No other defense attorneys were injured.
Once separated, Davis and Grimmage shouting things at each other, including that they “loved each other,” as reported by the newspaper. They both signaled gang signs during their sentencing.
Davis later said he was sorry to his attorney and “everyone.” Then he told Assistant State Attorney Amy Berndt she “got me [expletive] up.”
Berndt had told the jurors that each defendant was charged as a principal to first-degree murder. They might not have actually killed London in 2016, she argued, but they helped.
“It could be they stood outside the door with no weapon like a lookout,” Berndt said. “It could be they kicked in the door. It could be they rummaged through drawers. Or they carried the safe out. Or they carried the safe up the stairs to the apartment. Or they shot Courtney London. Whether they stood outside the door as a lookout or shot Courtney London, they are all involved.”