A Kentucky mom attending a hearing last week for a man accused of murdering her two sons had to be forcibly removed from the courtroom after lunging toward the suspect.
“Lock me up! Lock me up! Lock me up! Why don’t you let me get to him? He’s sick!” Elizabeth Marie Wren is heard shouting on the courtroom video as suspect Brice Rhodes is ushered out by bailiffs through a separate side entrance at the hearing on Friday.
Rhodes has pleaded not guilty to murder in the 2016 slayings of Wren’s two sons, 16-year-old Maurice Gordon and 14-year-old Larry Ordway, who allegedly were stabbed and set on fire, with their bodies left behind an abandoned house, the Courier-Journal reports.
Three others charged in the deaths have pleaded guilty.
Wren’s outburst came at the end of a 20-minute status hearing for Rhodes, the only remaining defendant in the case.
“I just — I just flipped out, I couldn’t take it no more,” Wren said after the hearing, according to local TV station WLKY.
“Ain’t nobody going to sit in court and hold their composure and have a demon turn around and laugh about them killing your kids,” she said. “It’s just not going to work for anybody.”
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In a separate hearing on Friday, Wren told a judge she objected to a deal accepted by Jacorey Taylor, now 19, who pleaded guilty to three counts of facilitation of murder and tampering with evidence in the case, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elizabeth Jones Brown, according to the Courier-Journal.
Taylor’s plea accepted the prosecution’s offer that he be sentenced later to either 10 years in prison or 20 years of probation in connection with the murders of Wren’s sons.
“I just don’t agree with this at all,” Wren told Circuit Judge Charlie Cunningham.
“To me, they all should get life without the possibility of parole,” she said. “My life is gone. I suffer every day.”
In the same case, Anjuan Carter, who was 15 at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty in 2016 to facilitation of murder and tampering with evidence; he had reportedly been charged as an adult. He remains jailed in a juvenile justice facility until he turns 18, when he will be ordered to serve the rest of his 10-year sentence in adult prison or be sentenced to five years’ probation
A fourth co-defendant, Tieren Coleman, now 20, pleaded guilty last July to facilitation of murder, tampering with evidence and two counts of abuse of a corpse. He also was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
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Prosecutors have said they will pursue the death penalty for Rhodes. He allegedly killed Wren’s sons because, along with Carter and Taylor, they were present when Rhodes allegedly fatally shot another man, and Rhodes feared they would talk, according to Carter’s statement to investigators.
Wren said after her courtroom ouster that she wants to make sure Rhodes will answer for the allegations against him. (According to reports, Rhodes does not appear to have a consistent attorney who could comment on his behalf.)
“We’re just fighting to get justice for him to get the death penalty or life without parole,” she told WLKY.
“Every Sunday you go to church and you pray and you try to forgive,” she said. “But the anger still builds up in your soul.”