A 30-year-old man with a lengthy rap sheet received an additional six months on top of 15 years for robbery after he punched his public defender in the face during sentencing.
Lamarcus Williamson of South Carolina, who has multiple priors ranging from drugs to grand larceny, had just been sent back to the slammer for another 15 years, this time for robbing a university student back in March, when he decided to go out with a bang and sucker-punched his lawyer, Dan Hall.
And on Hall's 58th birthday, no less.
"A punch was not the best birthday present I have ever received," said Hall, who is the assistant county public defender for York County.
Williamson was ordered to return the next day for a contempt hearing, during which Circuit Judge Michael Nettles sentenced him to a further six months behind bars.
"I was upset because the solicitor was trying to incriminate me like I'm some bad guy," Williamson, who pleaded guilty to his charges, told Nettles.
But the visiting judge refused Williamson's excuse. "It is clear your conduct is not governed by rational thought," he responded. "[Hall] was just there to help you before you hit him with a roundhouse square in the mouth."
Williamson could see even more prison time if sheriff's investigators decided to charge him with assault.
"It was shocking," Hall, who is still recovering from some minor bruising and swollen lip, recalled. "But courtrooms are an atmosphere of tension, emotions and often irrational people."