Alleged cop-killer Eric Floyd wouldn't keep his mouth shut in court yesterday, derailing the start of jury selection in his trial and infuriating the judge, who ordered that he not sit in the courtroom this morning.
Floyd will "appear" in court via closed-circuit television, Common Pleas Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes proclaimed at the end of the day yesterday.
"Mr. Floyd, you have disrupted this proceeding for two days," Hughes told the defendant. "Your behavior is pure contempt of court."
Floyd, 35, and Levon Warner, 41, are on trial on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy and related offenses in the May 3, 2008, shooting death of Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski.
The judge and attorneys didn't begin interviewing the first potential juror until 2:30 p.m. yesterday. The woman seemed promising but had to be excused after Floyd began loudly arguing with his attorney, William Bowe, while she was sitting in the jury box.
During the next hour-and-a-half, the judge and attorneys had to figure out what to do with Floyd.
Floyd told the judge he didn't accept Bowe and Earl G. Kauffman as his attorneys. He kept interrupting the judge, telling her he had many questions for the potential jurors.
When Hughes warned him, "If you open your mouth again, you're going to be shackled," he retorted that he had come to court shackled and that it didn't bother him.
In a later exchange, Hughes again asked Floyd if he would remain quiet in court.
Floyd replied, "No."
"Take him away!" the judge then ordered sheriff's deputies.