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Murder Defendant Hurls Chair At LAPD Detective In Court

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A murder defendant threw a chair at an LAPD detective at the downtown L.A. Criminal Courts building (Photo by Omar Barcena via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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A murder defendant threw a chair at an LAPD detective and prosecutor at his court hearing on Wednesday.

Jesus Mendez was at the downtown L.A. courtroom requesting for mistrial and mental competency hearings in his murder case, according to City News Service. Before the jury entered the courtroom, he threw a heavy metal chair at detective Myra Kellum, who was taken to a hospital for her injuries (including a bruise to her head), reported the Los Angeles Times. The chair also grazed, but didn't seriously injure Deputy District Attorney Hilary Williams, who was prosecuting the case.

Mendez was charged with murdering Jamie Sharif Mohammad Abuawad during a robbery on April 19, 2012. He still had to sit in the courtroom for the rest of the trial, handcuffed to his chair.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald H. Rose denied the mistrial and competency hearings and said Mendez's decision to throw the chair was "preplanned." "In no way at all is Mr. Mendez mentally ill," he said, according to City News Service. "I will not declare a doubt as to his competence."