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Sirens & Gavels

Seattle murder suspect swallows pencil

Isaiah Kalebu is pushed by police officers to a room to watch the proceedings of his trial via closed-circuit television at King County Superior Court on June 6 in Seattle. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Ellen M. Banner)

SEATTLE (AP) — The defendant in a Seattle murder and rape trial was taken to a hospital after swallowing a small pencil during a recess.

KOMO-TV says officials originally said it was possible Isaiah Kalebu would require endoscopic surgery, but a Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon it was likely he would be treated and released.

Guards saw him swallow the item, similar to the pencils golfers use to record scores.

KOMO says officials are studying case law for the next move in the trial and recessed for Tuesday afternoon.

Kalebu is charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder, rape and burglary in a July 2009 stabbing attack on two women in their Seattle home. Teresa Butz died of her wounds; her partner survived and has testified that Kalebu is her attacker.

The man has a history of mental illess.

Past coverage:

June 9: Survivor of Seattle attack testifies

June 7: Man barred from own trial in rape case

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