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Criminal Justice

Ordered to Wear ‘Spit Guard’ at Trial After Targeting Attorney, Defendant Looks Like Hannibal Lecter

Posted Mar 22, 2011 1:18 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A defendant in a Florida rape trial is going to sit in front of the jury looking more than a bit like Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs after a judge ordered him to wear a "spit guard" throughout the proceeding that covers his nose and the lower half of his face.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Richard Luce ordered Anthony Edward Watson to wear the device after he spat on his assistant public defender this morning, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

Watson, 51, said he would prefer to sit out the sexual battery and robbery trial and his lawyer, Jonathon Saunders, wiped the spit off his suit jacket sleeve and tried to persuade the judge to agree to this, the newspaper recounts. However, the judge said Watson must be present for portions of the trial.

A photo accompanying the article shows Watson wearing the spit guard. Like the mask worn by the serial killer character Hannibal Lecter played by Hopkins in the movie, it reduces much of his face to expressionless plastic.

An Original Prop Blog post shows the mask that Hopkins wore.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Probable Cause Hearing Goes from Bad to Worse for Duct-Taped Defendant"

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