Trials & Litigation

Man Accused of Stabbing 3 Defense Lawyers with Smuggled Pencils Starts Murder Trial in Restraints

As Joshua Monson began his latest criminal trial in Washington state on Thursday, his latest defense lawyer was unscathed.

That could be due to the unusual security measures approved by Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Larry McKeeman, at the request of prosecutors, after the defendant was accused of stabbing three prior defense attorneys with smuggled pencils, the Herald recounts.

Monson reportedly also attacked the third defense attorney, Jesse Cantor, in front of a jury last year, that time with counsel’s own pen. This resulted in Monson defending the felony drug case himself, strapped to a chair, because the judge refused to declare a mistrial and Cantor was conflicted out, at that point, as a potential witness in another criminal matter, according to prior Herald stories about the incident and Monson’s handling of the trial.

On Thursday, McKeeman initially ordered that both of Monson’s hands be restrained. The 28-year-old defendant also is strapped to his chair and is wearing an electronic stun cuff that corrections officers can activate if he gets out of control, the latest Herald article reports.

However, the judge decided that one of Monson’s hands could be released if he agreed to sit at a defense table apart from his lawyer. Courtroom furniture has been rearranged to conceal the restraints from the jury.

He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Brian Jones, 30, who was shot in the back of the head at close range, according to the Associated Press.

A prosecutor told jurors Thursday that Jones and Monson had been smoking methamphetamine not long before Jones was slain, the Herald reported.

Monson’s latest defense attorney, Walter Peale, pointed out that detectives had initially arrested someone else in the case. “Did they get it wrong the second time? That’s the question before you,” he told the jury.

It appears that Monson may later face additional criminal cases concerning the alleged attacks on his former attorneys.

Earlier coverage: “More Trouble for Murder Suspect Accused of Stabbing Lawyer with Attorney’s Own Pen”

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