Suspect Allegedly Attacks Attorney in Courtroom

Suspect Allegedly Attacks Attorney in Courtroom

( – A California murder suspect allegedly escaped his court restraints and attacked his own attorney with a pen before turning his anger toward prosecutors. The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office said Ramello Randle attacked his lawyer at the A.F. Bray Courthouse in Martinez, California, as he prepared to stand trial for the murder of his girlfriend and the attempted murder of her companion in a row over child custody in 2020.

Local media reported that 28-year-old Randle was strapped to a chair in the courtroom but somehow managed to break free before grabbing defense attorney Matthew Fregi’s pen and stabbing him in the face and head. The defendant then charged at prosecutor Kevin Bell, but law enforcement officers intervened and prevented a second assault.

Jimmy Lee, spokesperson for the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, said Randle will now face additional charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and battery. Mr. Fregi, who was not seriously injured, said he would continue to defend the suspect and that he had no ill will toward him.

Randle stands accused of plotting with 24-year-old Christopher Slaughter to murder Jonaye Lahkel Bridges, with whom he shared a child. The couple were amid a child custody fight when Randle allegedly fired a gun into her car, where she sat with a man who sustained injuries but survived. Slaughter agreed a plea deal with prosecutors in 2022.

In 2022, while Randle represented himself, the judge declared a mistrial following “chaotic, profanity-ridden pandemonium” in court. Randle went through several attorneys after a judge denied him the continued right to defend himself, with one lawyer saying the defendant “took a swing” at him.

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