Suspect in baby-throwing case removed from courtroom after outburst
TAMPA - The man accused of killing a 3-month-old boy and tossing him out of a car had to be removed from court today after an outburst during a routine hearing. Richard Anthony McTear Jr. was in court as prosecutors and defense attorneys debated whether McTear's prior statements could be used as evidence in his first-degree murder trial in the death of Emanuel Wesley Murray. Assistant State Attorney Jalal Harb was discussing statements attributed to McTear in which he reportedly threatened former girlfriend Jasmine Bedwell and her baby prior to the child's May 5 slaying. "You weren't there," McTear retorted.Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory P. Holder stopped the hearing and lectured McTear, saying any further outburst could result in a contempt of court charge or other action. When McTear asked what else that might be, the judge said perhaps some form of duct tape would be in order. McTear, 22, asked whether being held in contempt meant more jail time. Holder said it did. "All I got is time," McTear replied. As McTear started to say something else, Holder yelled, "Shut up." McTear responded, "Don't disrespect me like that." The judge then ordered bailiffs to remove McTear from the courtroom. "Take him out," he said. "Take him out. Right now." As bailiffs led McTear out of a rear exit, he said, "You are disrespecting everyone." Holder told the suspect, "You have lost your constitutional right to be present." McTear responded, "No problem." After a five-minute recess, Assistant Public Defender Michael Peacock consulted with McTear out of the courtroom and told Holder his client would behave. "He gets one more chance," Holder said. "This is it. This is it.'' McTear was returned to the courtroom, and the judge asked whether he had learned his lesson. "Yes, sir," the suspect said. "Yes, I apologize." Holder accepted the apology and the hearing continued without incident.
Reporter Tom Brennan can be reached at (813) 259-7698.