Judge Calls Murder Defendant A 'Danger To The Courtroom'

Tuesday, May 20th 2014, 10:03 am
By: News On 6

The trial of a Tulsa man charged in the brutal death of his mother in January of 2013 had several developments Tuesday.

Henry "Hank" Laird is accused of beating his 56-year-old mother to death with the butt of a shotgun.

The 18-year-old defendant rejected a plea deal, asked for a new lawyer and was then ordered to wear a shock device as he goes to trial for his mother's death.

The judge called Hank Laird a "danger to the courtroom" and ordered the teenager to wear a shock device that can be triggered by a deputy if Laird acts out physically or verbally.

Earlier in the day, Laird's attorney recommended his client accept a plea deal offered by the District Attorney's office. The judge recessed court late Tuesday morning so the two men could talk.

3/14/2013 Related Story: Bond Reduced For Man Charged As Accessory In Tulsa Woman's Murder

In court, Laird repeatedly said he's not ready for trial. He said he's scared of his attorney and requested a new one. The judge denied his request.

After the recess, the judge announced the case would go to trial and jury selection would begin. The terms of the offer Laird rejected are not known.

Linda Laird was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in her South Tulsa home on January 22, 2013. Her parents called police after finding her body. Police arrested their grandson a short time later at a Starbucks at 61st and Yale.

According to an arrest report, a friend witnessed the murder and told police Hank Laird beat Laird's mother to death. That friend, Josiah Sklar, was also arrested. He is charged with being an accessory after the fact.

Police say Hank Laird had been arrested as a juvenile for beating up his mother.