Victim's father attacks serial killer Michael Madison in courtroom
Van Terry leapt over the defence table to attack the man who murdered his daughter and two other women
The father of a victim murdered by serial killer Michael Madison lunged across a courtroom table and attacked him during sentencing in an Ohio courtroom.
Madison was sentenced to death after a jury convicted him of murdering three women – 38-year-old Angela Deskins, 28-year-old Shetisha Sheeley, and 18-year-old Shirellda Terry.
Van Terry, the father of Madison's final victim, was asked by the court to speak about his family’s loss.
Addressing the judge, he said: "I guess we are supposed to find it in our hearts to forgive this clown… who has taken my child."
Mr Terry then paused before leaping over the defence table to attack Madison, who appears to smirk as Mr Terry read his statement.
Cleveland.com reported that panic alarms were triggered in the Cuyahoga County Justice Centre in Cleveland when Terry managed to grasp at Madison’s face and throat.
Madison, 38, was seen laughing as the sheriff’s deputies wrestled Mr Terry to the floor.
The courtroom briefly erupted into chaos, as someone sitting in the gallery shouted "No!" and someone else called out "Terry!".
The hearing continued after a 15-minute delay once Mr Terry was taken from the courtroom.
The jury recommended the death penalty for Madison, which Judge McDonnell accepted, rather than sentencing him to life in prison without parole.
The same jury convicted Madison earlier this month of multiple counts of kidnapping and aggravated murder.
In 2013 the bodies of Deskins, Sheeley and Terry were found near the apartment building where Madison lived.
Acting on reports of a foul odour coming from a garage shared by Madison at the apartment building, police found the decaying body of one of the victims wrapped in rubbish bags, according to the Mirror.
Experts said the killer’s execution may not take place for ten years as all legal appeals have to be exhausted first.
Ohio has struggled to obtain the drugs used in lethal injections.
Independent News Service