SAN ANTONIO — A Texas man convicted of capital murder elbowed a bailiff in the jaw when the court officer attempted to handcuff him, authorities said.
Otis McKane, 40, was convicted Monday in a San Antonio courtroom after jurors deliberated for 25 minutes, KSAT reported.
He was found guilty in the fatal shooting of San Antonio Detective Benjamin Marconi on Nov. 20, 2016, the television station reported. According to prosecutors, McKane killed Marconi in his patrol vehicle as the officer was writing a traffic citation, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
McKane could face the death penalty. The jury will decide whether McKane is sentenced to death or sentenced to life in prison without parole, KENS reported.
Defense lawyers told the jury that Marconi was using social media and was sending texts before he was shot, so he was not acting in his official capacity as a police officer, the Express-News reported. The defense argued that under this scenario, McKane did not commit capital murder.
McKane did not know Marconi but told investigators and news media that he shot him because he was angry he was unable to see his child after violating a visitation order in a custody case, the newspaper reported.
“The only thing that would soothe my soul at that moment was to beat somebody up or shoot somebody,” prosecutor Mario Del Prado, quoting McKane, told the jury during closing arguments on Monday.
McKane remained calm as Monday’s verdict was read and Judge Ron Rangel gave instructions about the punishment phase of the trial, which began Tuesday.
McKane began unbuttoning his shirt and loosening his tie as Rangel spoke, KENS reported. When Deputy Isidro Gonzalez, who was acting as the court’s bailiff, went to handcuff McKane, the prisoner elbowed him in the jaw and sent the bailiff tumbling to the floor by the courtroom door, the television station reported.
“I had a feeling that he was going to fight us ... because he was taking off his clothes,” Gonzalez said on the witness stand during Tuesday’s punishment phase of the trial.
Gonzalez said he asked McKane to rise from his chair two times, and the defendant made no response, according to KENS.
“What were you concerned about?” a prosecuting attorney asked him.
“Him either trying to take a weapon from one of us and trying to escape,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t know what he’s thinking (when) he’s getting violent. It’s just the safety of everybody else in here.”
McKane’s original trial lasted 11 days over a three-week period, KSAT reported. Prosecutors called 55 witnesses, while the defense called one, the television station reported.
Gonzalez said that throughout the past 18 months, he had escorted McKane to the courtroom without incident.
“It’s been very professional,” Gonzalez told KSAT. “Never had an issue with him.”
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