COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Columbus man accused of the 2021 murder of his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend appeared in court for a pretrial hearing in Superior Court, which took an interesting turn, with the prosecution making a rare request to Judge Bobby Peters regarding the defendant’s attorney behavior.
Assistant District Attorney Donald Kelly asked Judge Bobby Peters to put attorney William Kendrick on notice about his courtroom actions.
Kendrick is representing Quincy Wade in the 2021 shooting of Maurice Vaughn Jackson. That murder trail is scheduled to begin in front of Peters on Monday.
Here’s what Kelly told the judge during Wednesday’s pretrial hearing.
“Mr. Kendrick has a little bit of a tendency to get worked up and to say things out loud at times while we request to use the state is questioning a witness on direct,” Kelly said. “And that’s really not permissible. There’s also been things sort of like mouthing words to jurors while the state has a witness on direct. There are other things like that. And that’s all we want to address.”
Following the prosecution’s request, an interesting exchange between, Kelly, Kendrick, and Judge Peters.
Kedrick: Judge. All right. Is the next motion for them to bound and gag me at the table?”
Peters: “Do you want him bound and gagged?”
Peters finally told both attorneys that objections will be allowed if any, on a case-by-case basis.
The prosecution further claims that Kendrick’s actions cause disruption in legal court proceedings, distract jurors, and are argumentative.
The state urged Peters to prevent Kendrick’s behavior using O.C.G.A. 15-1-3 which states, “Every court has power to preserve and enforce order in the court’s immediate presence and as near thereto as is necessary to prevent interruption, disturbance, or hindrance to its proceedings,” and O.C.G.A. 17-8-75 which states, “Where counsel in the hearing of the jury make statements of prejudicial matters which are not in evidence, it is the duty of the court to interpose and prevent the same.”
The prosecution’s motion used O.C.G.A. 15-19-4 which says that it is the duty of attorneys to exhibit “respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers’,” stating that Kednrick’s actions in previous cases “undermine the integrity of the judicial process.
After the hearing, Kendrick did not seem fazed by the prosecution’s request.
“Now, if that comes from the judge, that’s one thing,” Kendrick said. “If that comes from the jury it’s another thing. But if it comes from opposing counsel, I am sorry, this is a fight.”