Crime

Defendant who tried to bolt Pierce County courtroom now charged with attempted escape

Staff writerFebruary 19, 2014 

A 26-year-old man who sparked a fracas at the County-City Building last week when he tried to escape during a court hearing now faces new charges of resisting arrest and attempted escape.

TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE

A criminal defendant who tried to flee a Pierce County courtroom during a hearing Friday, sparking a fracas among deputies and spectators, has been charged with resisting arrest and attempted escape.

Not-guilty pleas were entered on behalf of Deondre Posey, 26, during an arraignment Tuesday. Posey already was being held without bail on behalf of the state Department of Corrections, but Superior Court Judge Vicki Hogan added a $1 million bail to that, court records show.

Another man involved in a shoving match with a deputy during the disturbance after Posey’s bid for freedom was charged with third-degree assault, resisting arrest and making a false statement to law enforcement. Errol Mayers, 33, pleaded not guilty. Hogan ordered him jailed in lieu of $5,000.

Mayers apparently made bail and was released pending the resolution of his case.

The charges stem from an incident in the courtroom of Judge Stephanie Arend.

Posey was in court for a routine proceeding to set a date for him to be re-sentenced for an attempted-murder conviction. A jury convicted him of the charge in 2010, and he was sentenced to more than 33 years in prison.

But the Washington State Court of Appeals ruled Arend made a mistake during the original sentencing and sent the case back for a sentencing do-over.

According to a video released by the Sheriff’s Department, Posey’s hearing had wrapped up when he nonchalantly ignored corrections officers instructing him to leave the court through a secured door, walked around the defense table and then took off running for Arend’s jury room, which has an exit to the main hallway.

Posey, who did not appear to be shackled, tripped between the jury box and witness stand, and three corrections officers pounced on him, the video shows. One shocked him with a stun gun as the “officers struggled to control him,” court records show.

About a dozen people in the gallery, including Mayers, jumped from their seats and began shouting and gesturing, court records show. Prosecutors said some of the people, many of them friends of Posey, shouted profanities at the officers and yelled, “Stop tasing him,” the records show.

More deputies streamed into the courtroom to restore order, and they began herding people out the door. That’s when Mayers allegedly shoved a deputy, knocking him to the ground, the records show. That deputy got up, and he and another moved to arrest Mayers, who allegedly said, “For what? He pushed me, so I pushed him back.”

Mayers also is alleged to have given a false name to deputies during the arrest.

online video

For video of an attempted escape from a Pierce County courtroom, go to thenews tribune.com

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644 adam.lynn@thenewstribune.com

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