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Murder Defendant Attacked in Court
Monday, 19 October 2009

October 19--  A family member of a murder victim attacked the defendant in the courtroom of Montgomery County Superior Court Monday in Mount Vernon.

Earnest Shaw, Jr. is accused in the beating death of Elizabeth Ann Richardson of Toombs County in September, 2007.  

Court officials say Shaw fired his lawyers and showed up a pre-trial hearing Friday without counsel.  He was instructed by Judge Frederick Mullis to secure counsel and came to court  Monday with a new lawyer, Tina Maddox of Vidalia.  She requested a continuance to prepare a defense and argued against a state motion to have her client's bond revoked.

Judge Mullis granted the continuance and was in his chambers discussing the revocation motion when Shaw was attacked by Blaxton.

Merle Richardson, the victim's mother-in-law, was in the courtroom and said the victim's brother, Lester Blaxton, had flown in from Texas to be at the trial. 

According to Richardson, "Mr. Shaw was at the defense table and Lester Blaxton walked into the courtroom and just sailed across the rail and landed on Earnest and hit him around the face and head.  He didn't have any kind of weapon, he just used his bare hands.  I don't think it was even premeditated, she said.

She believes the granting of an additional continuance motivated the attack, "Like the rest of us who knew and loved Elizabeth, he was very disappointed with Judge Mullis' decision to give him another continuance.  It was two years September 6th since her death.  He's been out free walking around without having to pay any penalty, and he's done several things to have his bond revoked and yet they have failed to do so," she said.

Montgomery County Sheriff Clarence Sanders released Blaxton without charges.  He told the sheriff he's going home to Texas and won't be back.

Shaw remains free on a $100,000 bond and Judge Mullis set a new trial date for December 7.

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