Man offers ultimatum on court

Brian Bruce.JPG

A man facing serious charges in Jefferson County gave the court an ultimatum on Monday.

Brian Bruce was indicted on attempted murder and other charges. He's accused of assaulting a woman at the Super 8 in Steubenville, then stabbing a man in the 3400 block of County Road 75A in December.

On Monday, Bruce's attorney requested a second competency evaluation. The results of the first are sealed by law. The request for that second one was granted, and then Bruce expressed concerns about media coverage, and his shot at a fair trial.

“I don't mean no disrespect to your court, but if NEWS9 is here again, I'm not coming in here,” Bruce said. “I mean, when I walk in that door, if I see them they're going to have to take me back, I'm not coming in here.

Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Michelle Miller reminded Bruce there is a process to select a fair jury and warned him that he'd be in contempt if he refused to go to future hearings.

Hakeem Herbert

Also, a suspected heroin dealer who planned to take a plea agreement lost his chance.

Herbert never showed up to the February hearing when he was supposed to change his plea and be sentenced.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, but he eluded the law until Monday.

He appeared in court to ask to reschedule the plea.

Instead, Herbert was handcuffed on the spot, and the state withdrew its offer.

“He's not a flight risk, he's a flyer. He takes flight, he totally disrespects the law, the court and his duty to appear here, but step one is go to jail,” said Frank Bruzzese, assistant prosecutor.

Herbert was indicted on one count of drug trafficking. The offense dates back to March 2015.

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