Heightened security is now in effect for a Lubbock murder trial, after a demonstration in the courtroom early Tuesday.
Authorities say a woman watching the trial of Mitchell Wachholtz held up a sign they perceived as a threat. Now, all people going into the courtroom must pass through a metal detector. Deputies had the detector installed by Tuesday afternoon. NewsChannel 11 passed through it around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Wachholtz is on trial for the July 2, 2007 shooting death of 21-year-old Chase Pendleton. EMS rushed Pendleton to University Medical Center after investigators say Wachholtz opened fire at the 7-Eleven at 34th and Memphis.
Authorities arrested Wachholtz the following day after several Crime Line tips. Tuesday, jury members heard from a Lubbock Police Detective and saw the bullet hole in Pendleton's polo and blood soaked undershirt he wore the night of the shooting.
Lubbock County Chief Deputy Paul Scarborough tells NewsChannel 11 that Tuesday morning, a woman walked out of the courtroom and flashed a sign. He says it was written on an 8x10 piece of paper. Scarborough says it was clearly written, and that the judge and jury could easily read it. He says it read something to the effect of "an eye for an eye".
Authorities perceived that as a threat, and installed the metal detector shortly after. Investigators suspect the woman knew Pendleton, but they are not sure how. They also suspect she planned the demonstration. Now, that woman is not allowed back in the trial, and if she tries to get in, she could face a charge of criminal trespass.
Testimony continues Wednesday morning and NewsChannel 11 will bring you the latest as it becomes available.
|Courts & Crime|