The man accused in two abortion clinic slayings overturned a heavy wooden table when a bailiff prevented him from holding a statement up to a photographer’s camera Wednesday. He was tackled and dragged from the courtroom.
“This is unconstitutional! This is unconstitutional!” John C. Salvi III yelled as he lay on the ground. As the bailiffs picked him up by his arms and legs and carried him out, he cried: “I have the right to address the media!”
The outburst took place as jury selection in his trial was about to resume. No prospective jurors were present.
Defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr. said the outburst proved his client was delusional. Carney, who plans an insanity defense, said Salvi also raged at him and threatened to hire another lawyer unless Carney helped him publicize his statement.
Salvi, 23, is accused of walking into two Brookline clinics on Dec. 30, 1994, pulling a rifle from a duffel bag and killing two receptionists.
On Tuesday, Salvi managed to hold up a handwritten statement on a legal pad until his lawyer pushed it down. In the statement, he declared himself to be anti-abortion but denied he was the gunman.
On Wednesday, Salvi raised another statement, this one several pages long.
But when a bailiff tried to take it from him, Salvi overturned the large, wooden defense table and tried to approach a photographer. A half-dozen court officers tackled him.