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Procedure Change Contributed To Shooting In Utah Court

Wikimedia Commons

An FBI report about a shooting inside a Utah federal courthouse found a lack of communication and a procedural change contributed to the death of a prisoner, a news report said.

Siale Angilau, 25, was killed by a U.S. marshal when he lunged toward a witness with a pen and a mechanical pencil during his April 2014 trial in Salt Lake City, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Sunday.

Angilau pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and failure to stop at the command of police and received up to 15 years in prison in a 2007 case. In 2014 he was one of 17 street gang members indicted on charges related to robberies and violent crimes.

He was the first person tried in the courthouse that opened a week earlier.

Some marshals in the courtroom were unaware of a judge's decision to leave Angilau because there were no table drapes in the new courtroom, the FBI report said.

The drapes are frequently used to prohibit juries from seeing that defendants are restrained and prevent them from forming opinions of defendants after seeing them shackled, officials said.

An FBI agent wrote that Angilau moved quickly and a marshal realized he was not shackled and had not been informed earlier that he would not be in restraints.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the marshal was justified in shooting Angilau four times and that no charges would be filed.