Man Slashes Throat in Courtroom After Guilty Verdict on Terrorizing-Related Charge

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North Dakota

In a harrowing scene fit for a Hollywood movie, a North Dakota man dramatically slashed his own throat in the courtroom following his guilty verdict. The Associated Press reports:

“North Dakota U.S. Marshal Dallas Carlson said the incident happened after a jury returned a partial guilty verdict against the man, who had faced terrorizing-related charges. Carlson said the man had a sharp instrument that might have been made of plastic.”

It appears the man had one final “terrorizing” act. Fortunately, the jury had left the courtroom, but U.S. District Judge Peter Welte and others did witness the traumatic event. Court security officers and marshals attempted life-saving measures immediately, but the man died from his self-inflicting wound.

FBI spokesman Kevin Smith said the man was acquitted on one charge but found guilty on another, and was going to be taken into custody. “He did the self-harm after he heard the verdict and after the jury left the courtroom,” said Smith.

The AP writes that although Smith did not know which charge the man had been convicted, “Court documents show that in the last week Welte had been presiding over a jury trial for a North Dakota man who was charged with reckless endangerment and assault for allegedly running someone over with a Jeep. He also faced a terrorizing charge on accusations he brandished a weapon.”

The FBI has opened an investigation, according to Smith. “All the questions you have, we have. What was the sharp object, how did it get into the courtroom, those questions, what did people see him do” said Smith.