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The sentencing hearing for a man convicted of killing an Ohio woman erupted in chaos Thursday when the victim’s two sons attacked the handcuffed defendant inside the courtroom.
Dale Williams, 62, was to be sentenced for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Elizabeth Pledger Stewart, in Youngstown, Ohio.
But moments before Pledger Stewart’s daughter was to give her victim impact statement in court, the two sons both ran toward Williams, breaking past officers who tried to intervene. Court cameras captured the entire brawl on video.
The men tackled Williams — who was handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit — and punched him several times before officers restored order. A stun gun was used on one of the sons to get him to stop fighting.
“He killed my mother, man,” the son said as deputies handcuffed him. “That was my mama! She took care of me, bro, when nobody else did.”
Williams pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Pledger Stewart in 2017. Investigators said Williams admitted to waiting for Pledger Stewart for more than 45 minutes for her to drive by him on her way to work so he could cut her off and shoot her, Youngstown’s WKBN-TV reported.
Both sons were arrested and will be held in jail under contempt of court for 30 days, Youngstown’s WFMJ-TV reported. Williams’ sentencing hearing will be rescheduled due to the disruption.
Extra officers were assigned in the courtroom that day because officers anticipated “some tensions with this sentencing hearing,” Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene told WKBN.
“From everything I can see, the officers acted appropriately. In fact, did a pretty good job, in my opinion,” he said.