July 29, 1995 in Nation/World

Man Held In Clinic Killings Hauled Out Of Courtroom

Associated Press
 

Manacled and his legs in irons, a man accused of killing two receptionists at abortion clinics was carried feet-first from the courtroom Friday after yelling that he was competent to stand trial.

“I don’t have a criminal record in Massachusetts or Florida. I don’t even have a driving record,” John C. Salvi III shouted as four court officers restrained him. “Try me as a juvenile or an adult. I don’t care.”

Earlier, Salvi asked for a chance to address the media for five minutes from the steps of the courthouse. Officials ignored the request.

It was one of several outbursts during the four-day competency hearing that ended Friday.

Salvi, 24, of Hampton, N.H., says he is competent to stand trial on two murder counts and five counts of aggravated assault for the Dec. 30 shootings at two clinics in the Boston suburb of Brookline. He says he will accept the death penalty if convicted.

Since Salvi refused to cooperate with his court-appointed lawyer, who believes he is not competent to stand trial, Superior Court Judge Barbara Dortch-Okara named another lawyer to represent him. Against Salvi’s wishes, that lawyer argued that he is not fit for trial.

If the judge decides Salvi is incompetent, he will be committed to a state mental hospital until he is deemed competent. She is expected to rule next month.

While three defense experts have said Salvi is schizophrenic and should not be tried, Dr. Joel Haycock, a state psychiatrist and prosecution expert, contradicted their diagnosis on Friday.

He testified that Salvi suffered hallucinations, feared he was being followed by the Mafia and targeted by the Ku Klux Klan.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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