Court Security

Defendant's siblings, girlfriend charged in courtroom fracas that followed his murder conviction

What authorities are describing as a courtroom melee Thursday after a second-degree murder verdict in Staten Island, N.Y., has resulted in criminal charges against the girlfriend, sister and brother of the convicted defendant.

A criminal complaint says chaos erupted in Stapleton Criminal Court after Tyrell Smith, 27, was found guilty in a 2012 shooting death. Authorities say Smith’s sister, Tyquasia Smith, 23; brother Todd Henderson, 20; and girlfriend Tequanna Tyson, 24, stood up and shouted at jurors after the verdict was announced, then rushed toward the defendant to try to help him escape, the Staten Island Advance reports.

As the trio rushed to the railing that separates court spectators from the judge, defendant, attorneys and court personnel, Tyrell Smith stood up and ran toward the railing from the defense table, an earlier Staten Island Advance article reports.

He tried to jump over the railing but was held back by courtroom officers, authorities said. Fisticuffs and a shoving match ensued in which seven court officers and a district attorney’s detective squad member were injured, court documents say.

The defendant’s sister, brother and girlfriend were charged with charged with second-degree assault, attempted escape, obstruction, resisting arrest and criminal contempt, the newspaper reports. Bond was set at $100,000 each at their arraignment on Friday.

The article doesn’t include any comment from the defendants or their lawyers but says Tyrell Smith plans to appeal, according to his legal counsel. His sentencing in the murder case is scheduled for next month.

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