Accused South Park killer banned from his own trial
A King County judge has barred accused South Park killer Isaiah Kalebu from sitting in the courtroom during his murder trial next month after he lashed out in court Monday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Isaiah Kalebu scowled as he was wheeled into court Monday by three burly jail officers who had to drag him from his cell. Within minutes, he was led out amid a profanity-filled tirade that prompted a judge to ban him from sitting in on his upcoming murder trial.
Kalebu, appearing at a hearing to discuss possible methods to quell his courtroom outbursts, repeatedly interrupted the proceeding as he cursed and complained about his lawyers, King County Jail staff and Superior Court Judge Michael Hayden.
Hayden, who has witnessed Kalebu's courtroom antics during numerous hearings, had enough. Hayden barred the accused South Park killer from sitting in on his own trial. Instead, he will view the proceedings on closed-circuit TV from "a remote location," Hayden said.
"I'm persuaded Mr. Kalebu is unwilling and unable to be here," the judge said.
Kalebu, who had to be dressed and dragged to court by jail staff, told Hayden he agreed with the decision.
"I'm not sitting through this trial, period," said Kalebu, 25.
"I want new lawyers; these lawyers are not doing what they're supposed to do," Kalebu shouted. "You're fired. The judge is fired."
Defense attorneys did not object to the judge's order.
Kalebu is charged with aggravated first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree rape and first-degree burglary in the rape and slaying of Teresa Butz, 39, and the attack on her partner in July 2009.
Prosecutors say Kalebu crawled through an open bathroom window at the women's South Park home and raped them repeatedly for 90 minutes.
Butz managed to hurl a nightstand out the bedroom window and jumped out, creating enough of a distraction for her partner also to flee, prosecutors said. Butz's partner survived.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty because of Kalebu's history of mental illness. He faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted of aggravated murder.
Before Kalebu was barred from the courtroom, jail staff had asked the judge to allow them to use an electroshock stun-gun sleeve on the defendant during the trial. Corrections officers inside the courtroom can send an electric shock to the sleeve if a defendant acts out.
Kalebu's lawyers objected to the sleeve being used. Kalebu also said that he refused to sit in court "like a good little boy" while somebody threatened him with electroshock.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org