Criminal Justice

Rape defendant punches his lawyer at trial

The rape trial of a Tulsa, Okla., man came to a screeching halt Friday when the defendant repeatedly punched his court-appointed lawyer in the face, according to court personnel.

Earnest Michael Padillow, 47, was on his way to the witness stand to testify in his own defense when he turned on his lawyer, Tulsa World reports.

Mark Cagle, Padillow’s court-appointed lawyer, suffered a busted lip, but said he was otherwise unharmed.

Cagle’s co-counsel, Stephen Lee, ended the assault by putting Padillow in a headlock. Sheriff’s deputies used a stun gun to subdue the defendant, who was then removed from the courtroom.

The judge ordered the trial to continue without the defendant present.

Padillow is now facing a new charge of assault and battery on a court officer.

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