Deputies Subdue Killer in Courtroom
A killer reacted violently to a guilty verdict in Santa Ana, overturning the defense table and injuring two marshal’s deputies before he could be subdued.
Moments after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder Monday, George Fitzgerald toppled the defense table and lunged for a prosecutor, said marshal’s Sgt. Dan Volini.
Three deputies pinned Fitzgerald to the ground and handcuffed him after a brief struggle, Volini said. One deputy suffered a bloody nose and another was bruised above the cheek. They did not seek medical treatment.
Fitzgerald, 20, could face life in prison without parole after his conviction for the 1997 shooting death of a La Palma liquor store owner during an attempted robbery.
Deputy District Attorney Dan McNerney said a courtroom clerk had just polled jurors individually about their verdicts when Fitzgerald rose from his seat.
“There was a struggle going on. The three bailiffs were trying to put him down and were having a difficult time doing it,” McNerney said. “One of the bailiffs was bleeding from the mouth.”