California murder suspect stabs attorney with pen before charging prosecutor

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An Oakland, California murder suspect faces additional charges after freeing himself from restraints in a courtroom on Monday morning and stabbing his attorney in the face and head with a pen before turning his angst toward the prosecutor.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that 28-year-old Ramello Randle was attending his homicide trial at the A.F. Bray Courthouse in Martinez, California at about 10:55 a.m. on Monday when he attacked his attorney with a pen. He then went to attack the district attorney, who the sheriff’s office said was able to push him off.

The East Bay Times reported that the incident was witnessed by a Contra Costa jury, which is tasked with determining whether Randle is guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend in July 2020, as well as attempting to murder a man as a child custody dispute was underway.

The publication said Randle cut or broke through restraints keeping him attached to a courtroom chair. He then grabbed defense lawyer Matthew Fregi’s pen and stabbed him in the face and head before charging Deputy District Attorney Kevin Bell, who suffered a scratch on the hand.

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Ramello Randle is accused of stabbing his attorney with a pen in a Martinez, California courtroom on March 18, 2024. (Antioch Police Department)

Officials reportedly found a note written by Randle before the attack that read, “sorry.”

Randle, Bell and Fregi are expected back in court on Tuesday to continue the trial, the publication reported.

Randle was in court because he and Christopher Slaughter allegedly worked together to kill the mother of Randle’s child, 24-year-old Jonaye Lahkel Bridges.

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A.F. Bray Courthouse in Martinez, California

A man on trial for murder freed himself from restraints at the A.F. Bray Courthouse in Martinez, California before grabbing his attorney’s pen, stabbing him in the head and charging after the prosecutor on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Google Maps)

The plot allegedly involved tracking Bridges’ vehicle with a tracking device, following her to a store in Antioch, and shooting her and a man who was with her.

Bridges was killed in the attack, the publication reported, while the man was wounded but survived.

The case had gone to trial previously, but it was declared a mistrial in November 2022 after Randle shouted expletives at Bell during cross-examination. Randle also told Judge Charles “Ben” Burch to shut up, adding he was not his “b – – – h,” when the judge tried to control the situation.

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courtroom and gavel

Inside a courtroom with gavel in view.  (iStock)

The judge ultimately declared a mistrial and the judge told him he could not represent himself.

In September 2023, Fregi became Randle’s attorney after he allegedly swung at another attorney, tripped and was handcuffed and taken to jail.

Now, Judge John Kennedy is presiding over the case and is tasked with looking at how courts have handled other situations when courtroom violence occurs before jurors.

After the situation on Monday, the courtroom was cleared and the fire department assessed both attorneys, who refused medical attention.

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Randle was transported back to jail and now faces additional charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and battery.

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