Attorney captures aftermath of fatal courthouse shooting on cellphone


By John Futty - The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)



COLUMBUS — A cellphone video captured the seconds immediately after a deputy fatally shot a 16-year-old boy Wednesday afternoon at the Franklin County Courthouse.

The video taken by a defense attorney, which made the rounds on social media Saturday, shows the Franklin County deputy tending to the fallen boy as the boy’s mother cries and screams, “My son! They just shot my son!”

Constance Gadell-Newton, whose law practice deals heavily with Juvenile Court cases, told The Dispatch that she reached for her cellphone as a confrontation in the hallway of Juvenile Court between the boy, Joseph Haynes, and Deputy Richard Scarborough was rapidly escalating.

She began recording almost immediately after hearing the gunshot, she said.

The fifth floor of the Juvenile Court is equipped with just one security camera, located on the opposite end of the hallway from the area where the shooting occurred, a major with the sheriff’s office said when that video was released Friday.

Haynes was shot about 12:40 p.m. Wednesday, around the corner from Courtroom 56, outside the view of the surveillance camera.

Gadell-Newton, who announced in May that she is running for Ohio governor as a Green Party candidate, said she was sitting with a client outside the courtroom and witnessed the events leading up to the shooting and its aftermath, but didn’t see the shot fired.

She has provided a copy of the video to the sheriff’s office and has given a statement to investigators, she said.

Maj. Steven Tucker, of the Franklin County sheriff’s office, said someone in Juvenile Court let deputies know that the 2-minute, 41-second clip existed, after Gadell-Newton posted it and an eyewitness account to YouTube on Friday.

“It was odd; we spoke to a woman there at the scene and she never mentioned to us that she took video,” Tucker said.

Investigators will be able to glean some information from the footage but not much, he said.

“It is the aftermath. It’s taken from a distance,” Tucker said. “Would it be helpful for painting a picture of the response? Absolutely… (But) nothing actually captures the event itself.”

He said he hopes other video exists, and that those people come forward to share it.

The shooting occurred after a hearing for Haynes on two delinquency cases, both involving guns, before Juvenile Court Magistrate Larry Sanchez. By all accounts, Haynes was emotional as he and his mother left the courtroom.

Deputy Scarborough confronted the boy in the hallway, near a door to the magistrate’s offices, when he “came under attack,” was knocked to the ground and was in “a fight for his life” when he fired one shot, Chief Deputy Rick Minerd said Wednesday. The boy wasn’t armed, officials have said.

Haynes was shot in the abdomen and died less than an hour later at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. Scarborough was treated for a black eye, bruises and scrapes, Minerd said.

As the video begins, a court official appears to be assisting Scarborough in checking on the wounded boy. The only others in the frame are Haynes’ mother and grandmother, a girl and two other court officials. A second deputy arrives 15 seconds later.

Gadell-Newton was critical of how the deputy initially handled his encounter with the boy and his mother.

“There was no effort to de-escalate the situation, to get them to calm down,” she said. “The deputy inserted himself too quickly without letting them settle down.”

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By John Futty

The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)

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