FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Federal authorities say a man on trial
in Fargo, North Dakota, slashed his own throat and died in the courtroom Monday.
According to North Dakota U.S. Marshal Dallas Carlson, the incident occurred after a jury returned a partial guilty verdict against the man, who had faced terrorizing-related charges. Carlson stated that the man had a sharp instrument, which could have been made of plastic.
The jury, according to Carlson, had left the courtroom, but U.S. District Judge Peter Welte, courtroom staff, and others witnessed the incident, and court security officers and deputy marshals attempted to save lives in the courtroom.
According to FBI
spokesman Kevin Smith, the man was acquitted on one charge but found guilty on the other, and he was about to be arrested.
“He self-harmed after hearing the verdict and after the jury had left the courtroom,” Smith said.
He had no idea what charge the man had been found guilty of.
According to court documents, Welte had been presiding over a jury trial for a North Dakota man who was charged with reckless endangerment and assault for allegedly running someone over with a Jeep, as well as terrorizing for allegedly brandishing a weapon.
Welte filed a court document on Monday authorizing meals for the jury while they were deliberating.
Welte has yet to respond to a message left in his chambers on Thursday.
Smith stated that an investigation has been launched by the FBI.
“What happened in that federal courtroom today must be officially documented,” he said.
“We have all of your questions: what was the sharp object, how did it get into the courtroom, those questions, and what did people
see him do.”