ORLANDO (AIP) – Assistant Public Defender Karl Martin-Lucke was killed by the jury listening to his closing arguments in a petit theft trial at the Orange County Courthouse on Thursday, in what bystanders called one of the most heinous crimes in recent memory.
“It was chilling,” said Martha Pennington, mother of Thad Pennington who was the defendant in the petit theft in which Martin-Lucke was representing him. “The jurors beat him to death with their hands. It must have gone on for 10 minutes.”
The trial in which Pennington was accused of ordering a sandwich at Publix and eating it without paying as he wandered the aisles was entering its fourth hour of defense closing argument when the jurors attacked.
“We were fed up with him constantly going over the same three points over and over for hours,” said Juror number 4, who agreed to be interviewed immediately after the murder as he ordered a milkshake and fries in the Courthouse cafeteria. “We were all beyond being highly offended by his seeming contempt for our lack of common sense and his implied belief that we didn’t hear him the first time, or the second time, or the third time.
“Juror 3 moved first, literally vaulting out of the box and tackling the attorney. But we were all on him in no time. It took time to kill him and that was probably the most satisfying thing.”
Courtroom surveillance video show bailiffs in the courtroom at the time of the attack stepped outside while the jurors savagely beat Martin-Lucke.
“Our officers only respond to crimes,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Miller Benton. “There was no crime being committed there.”
Attorneys in the Public Defender’s Office mostly agreed that Martin-Lucke will not be missed.
“The son of a bitch would never shut up,” said Assistant Public Defender Carolyn McManus. “We’re all glad he’s dead.”