The stress of going through a criminal trial can be quite severe. Many people may act strangely or out of character when faced with a possible conviction, large fine or lengthy prison sentence, so much so that they may not realize what they are doing. According to the Star Tribune, a 42-year-old man had just been convicted of criminal sexual conduct when he allegedly opened fire in the courthouse, injuring the prosecutor of his sexual assault trial and a witness who had testified against him. Now, the man is facing several violent crimes charges.
It has been reported that the 42-year-old had no idea what happened and was confused when people started piling on him on the courthouse floor. His father insists that his son is still trying to figure out exactly what transpired after he was found guilty of criminal sexual conduct. Despite his apparent inability to remember or comprehend what police claim he did, the man has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a gun within a courthouse, fourth-degree assault and obstructing justice.
The man allegedly told police that he had planned on committing suicide or forcing officers to shoot him, indicating that he may not have planned to hurt anyone in the supposed gun fight.
The man is being held on $2 million bail.
It is clear that the 42-year-old was deeply concerned about his sexual assault case and that as things got worse in trial, it is possible he no longer had a firm grasp on what he was doing. Although he told a former girlfriend that he had a plan for if he were convicted, there were reports that he told his father he intended to commit suicide.
Source: Star Tribune, “Suspect in Cook County courthouse shootings is charged,” Paul Walsh, Dec. 19, 2011