Defendant stabs one lawyer too many

Defendant stabs one lawyer too many

04 March 2012 By Lawyers Weekly

An accused killer has been ordered to represent himself after stabbing three consecutive lawyers in the neck with various writing implements.Joshua Monson, a 27-year-old American accused of…

An accused killer has been ordered to represent himself after stabbing three consecutive lawyers in the neck with various writing implements.

Joshua Monson, a 27-year-old American accused of shooting someone dead, is now on his lonesome after a judge ruled he has now stabbed one lawyer too many and no longer has the right to legal representation.

In May this year, the Weekly Vice reported that Monson had to be restrained at his court hearing after he allegedly stabbed his lawyer in the neck with a pencil earlier in the week.


Needless to say, the unfortunate lawyer stood down from the case and was promptly replaced by another - who soon found himself dangling from the tip of Monson's pencil.

Monson had apparently managed to smuggle the offending pencils into court from his jail cell, though neither were able to inflict serious injury.

When Monson next appeared in court, his wrists and arms were strapped to a restraining chair and there were no Faber Castells in sight.

However, after a stabbing-free session, the court apparently relaxed a little and Monson attended court this week unrestrained.

That was a bad move. As Lowering the Bar reports, he managed to stab his third lawyer, this time with a pen.


The judge had previously ordered that Monson be deprived of all writing tools, though the complacent new lawyer on the block unfortunately left a pen within tantalizingly close reach of Monson.

Needless to say, Monson couldn't resist and was soon lunging for his lawyer's neck, biro in hand.

Luckily, he missed, and the lawyer sustained a mere doodle on the side of his head.

Chances are Monson's aim was foiled by the electric shock he received from the stun device he was wearing which was triggered as soon as the guard saw Monson lunging for the jugular.

Alas, the judge ruled that Monson has now forfeited his right to legal counsel. He'll also be strapped to a chair for the remainder of the trial.

Monson promptly complained, asking, "How can [the jury] fairly judge me when they see me in a chair like this?"

Given that the jury had just seen him attack his lawyer with a biro, the judge didn't seem too concerned about this point.

But just to be fair, the judge gave the jury the following instructions: "Disregard the restraints ... the incident involving [the] pen, and the defence attorney's sudden absence".

Good luck to you Monson. Folklaw doesn't like your chances.

Defendant stabs one lawyer too many
Intro image
lawyersweekly logo
The Women in Law Awards is the benchmark for excellence, recognising the empowering women influencing the Australian legal profession, celebrating the female leaders, role models and future champions of the industry. Register for the waitlist today for the opportunity to attend this remarkable awards ceremony and network with top legal professionals and fellow peers.