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Punch Halts Murder Trial


— March 22, 2004

PHILADELPHIA – A man accused of raping and murdering a young girl punched his defense attorney in the face Monday, bringing his jury trial to a halt.

Court officers tackled the defendant, Malik El-Shabazz, 20, then led him quickly from the courtroom at Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center. The attorney, public defender Fred Goodman, was not seriously hurt, officials said.

Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan immediately declared a recess and sent jurors home. It was unclear whether the attack, which was unprovoked and came without warning, would result in a mistrial. . . .

El-Shabazz is accused of murdering 6-year-old Destiny Wright during a girls slumber party at his sister’s Philadelphia home in 2002.

[D]uring the trial, jurors were shown a police videotape in which El-Shabazz described in great detail how he smothered the girl and then lugged her body more than a mile to a vacant lot. Jurors on Monday also saw gruesome autopsy photographs of the girl’s body.

Details here from the AP via the TimeLeader.com. (link via Drudge)


PHILADELPHIA – A man accused of raping and murdering a young girl punched his defense attorney in the face Monday, bringing his jury trial to a halt.

Court officers tackled the defendant, Malik El-Shabazz, 20, then led him quickly from the courtroom at Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center. The attorney, public defender Fred Goodman, was not seriously hurt, officials said.

Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan immediately declared a recess and sent jurors home. It was unclear whether the attack, which was unprovoked and came without warning, would result in a mistrial. . . .

El-Shabazz is accused of murdering 6-year-old Destiny Wright during a girls slumber party at his sister’s Philadelphia home in 2002.

[D]uring the trial, jurors were shown a police videotape in which El-Shabazz described in great detail how he smothered the girl and then lugged her body more than a mile to a vacant lot. Jurors on Monday also saw gruesome autopsy photographs of the girl’s body.

Details here from the AP via the TimeLeader.com. (link via Drudge)

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