ORLANDO (AIP) – Prominent local defense attorney Jeffrey Main shocked jurors and spectators in Court on Wednesday when, during his client’s testimony in her felony battery trial, he suddenly wrapped his fingers around her throat and strangled the life out of her.
“He just snapped,” said friend and fellow defense attorney Ryan Mingor. “Jeff got his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Tennessee. He comes absolutely unglued when his clients mispronounce or misuse common English words. It’s a real pet peeve for him. This time he might have gone too far.”
A trial transcript seems to indicate that the trouble began early when Main called his client to the stand to testify in her own defense in the battery case. He told his client, Renee Washington, to introduce herself to the jury and tell them where she lived. She told jurors she resided at 917 West Walnut ‘Screet’.
“The correct word is, of course, ‘street’,” said Mingor, speaking to reporters after the incident.
Later during her testimony, Main asked his client if she had ever been convicted of a felony. Her response, according to the transcript, was that she had been charged with a previous felony but had received a ‘wiffhold of adjudification’.
“It’s ‘withhold of adjudication,” said Mingor. “There isn’t an ‘f’ in either one of those words. When she said that I could see that Jeff was really tensing up.”
Main apparently lost control when his client told the jury that prior to the alleged incident she had gone to the courthouse to get a ‘conjunction’ against the woman who later became the victim in the battery.
“She obviously didn’t go to the courthouse to get a word used to connect clauses in a sentence,” said Mingor. “What she attempted to get was an ‘injunction’ against the other woman. When she said that Main just snapped."
According to witnesses, Main grunted loudly one time, walked to the witness box and began strangling his client.
“We had three deputies trying to pry him off of her, but he wouldn’t let go,” said Orange County Deputy Sheriff Milton Wilcox. “Finally, when she was dead, he released his grip and calmly allowed us to take him into custody.”
Murder charges are pending in the case.