Tulsa County Assistant DA Attacked By Convicted Man After Verdict
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - A Tulsa County prosecutor was taken to the hospital after he was attacked by a man on trial for murder.
Dameon Leathers had just been found guilty by a jury when investigators said he hit the prosecutor with a water pitcher so hard, the pitcher shattered. Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray says it happened in a split second; one minute he was sending a text to announce his latest guilty verdict, and the next, he was on the ground.
"The time it took for him to grab a pitcher and hit me upside the head is just, a second or two," Gray said.
Gray said Leathers had just been convicted of first degree murder and robbery when it happened.
"It started clicking that he's hitting me and he's coming after me," Gray recalled.
The way some courtrooms are laid out in Tulsa County, suspects sit behind the prosecutors on their case.
"You get lulled into a sense of safety and security because, well, these things just don't normally happen," Gray said.
"In this particular case, he'd been pretty calm," he continued. "So I don't think any of us saw it coming."
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said he's concerned for his prosecutors.
"That's not something you sign up for," he said. "I've heard some folks say, well, you know, you kind of sign up for that. Nobody signs up to be assaulted."
He said pitchers are no longer allowed in the courtrooms in Tulsa County, and he hopes the State of Oklahoma is ready to take a long, hard look at courtroom security across the state.
Kunzweiler said it's likely that Leathers will now face new charges for this assault.
The jury recommended life without parole for his murder charge.
The presiding judge in Tulsa County told me today safety is the utmost priority to the judges. He said this incident is under investigation, and he's also working with the sheriff to investigate overall safety protocols.