CLEVELAND, Ohio – A criminal defendant stunned the courtroom Tuesday after he sucker-punched his defense attorney just moments after he was sentenced to 47 years in prison. Body cam video captured the drama (see below).
Judge Nancy Margaret Russo sentenced David Chislton, 42, on nearly two-dozen charges, Cleveland.com reported. This occurred after the man pleaded guilty to “assaulting his girlfriend and setting fire to the Miles Landing apartment complex in Warrensville Heights in 2017,” WKYC reported. Chislton “received credit for the two years he spent behind bars since his April 2017 arrest,” Cleveland.com reported.
The incident began after Chislton and his girlfriend got into an argument. He set fire to the building’s second floor, which caused significant structural damage and displaced several families.
Moments after Russo sentenced Chislton in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas courtroom, Chislton, who was handcuffed in front, sucker-punched Aaron Brockler, who was standing to his left, Cleveland.com reported. According to the news agency, the two men fell to the ground and Chislton also bit the attorney’s leg before he was dragged away.
Watch Courtroom Attack
Brockler told FOX 8 Cleveland he was about to talk to Chislton before the blow was delivered.
“I went to go turn to tell him, ‘I’ll come and see you privately to discuss what your options are,’ and before I could even get the words out, I just got sucker-punched right in the side of the head,” Brockler told FOX 8 Cleveland.
Brockler said he suffered a broken nose and concussion. The lawyer said he was lucky that he wasn’t hurt more seriously.
“I’m lucky that he didn’t get his hands around me and choke me out with the cuffs, or you know, he could’ve got to the judge. It’s not a good situation to be cuffed in the front, in my opinion,” Brockler said.
Russo told Cleveland.com she hoped Brockler made a full recovery.
“People don’t understand what we go through in this building on a daily basis,” she said.
Chislton may receive time added to his already lengthy 47-year prison sentence. A Cuyahoga County spokesperson told the station they were in the process of filing new charges against him following the attack.