Man Who Threw Feces During Trial Sentenced
Last Updated: 1332 days ago
An ex-con who rubbed his own feces on the head and face of his attorney, then flung the fecal matter at jurors at his robbery trial was sentenced Monday to 31 years and four months in state prison.Weusi McGowan, 38, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to residential robbery causing great bodily injury and residential burglary. The defendant also pleaded guilty to assault on a public official and assault on a juror.On Monday, McGowan turned away from two television cameras as he was sentenced by Judge Frank Brown.The judge ordered the defendant to pay $129 to a juror whose briefcase was ruined by McGowan's feces. No jurors were hit by the defendant's fecal matter.McGowan became upset last Jan. 26 when Judge Jeffrey Fraser refused to remove Alternate Public Defender Jeffrey Martin from the home-invasion case.At the mid-morning break, McGowan produced a plastic baggie filled with his own fecal matter and spread it on Martin's hair and face, then flung the excrement toward the jury box, hitting the attaché case of one juror.After a lunch break, Fraser dismissed jurors, telling them McGowan would need a need a new lawyer and that his trial would be delayed.Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lawson said McGowan initially became upset days earlier when he claimed many of the jurors saw him in shackles as he was led to the courtroom.Fraser had also denied McGowan's request to represent himself, the prosecutor said.Lawson said McGowan had previously wiped human feces on himself and was examined by doctors to ensure he was mentally competent to stand trial.But defense attorney Stephen Cline said McGowan's medications were messed up when he was about to go to trial.When medicated properly, the defendant does "relatively OK," Cline said."He's mentally disabled," the attorney said. "(But) that doesn't mean he doesn't know what he's doing. He can be extremely violent if not medicated."Cline said McGowan has been diagnosed with a number of mental illnesses, including schizophrenia.McGowan tried to rob an ice cream truck at the age of 12 and his brothers were founding members of a local gang, his attorney said.But Lawson said McGowan "chose to live the life of a criminal.""He is a man who will do anything," Lawson told reporters.The prosecutor said the defendant went on a shooting spree at age 16 and once out of prison, committed the home-invasion robbery he was on trial for when he flung his feces at the jury box.In the robbery case, McGowan hit a man with a rock in a sock demanding money and drugs as the victim came out of a house in Barrio Logan to investigate a commotion on Oct. 17, 2007.McGowan ransacked the man's apartment then stole some of the victim's belongings and took off in the victim's car, Lawson said.