Unhappy defendant punches lawyer during court hearing


CINCINNATI — Monday didn’t start well for Dionte Lummus. And it only got worse for him and his attorney.

Mr. Lummus, 20, is on trial in Hamilton County, accused of attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, weapons charges, and felonious assault, charges carrying a prison sentence of about 50 years.

A jury started hearing his case on Friday before Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman.

Mr. Lummus, though, was upset with his attorney, Will Oswall, and told the judge he wanted to fire Mr. Oswall. In a Monday hearing, before the jury was brought into court, Mr. Oswall told the judge he didn’t think it was fair to his client if he was removed from the case in the middle of the trial.

That’s when, Mr. Oswall said, Mr. Lummus punched him in the face. “I kind of saw it coming, so I stepped back,” Mr. Oswall said later.

Mr. Lummus then tried to race out of the courtroom but was tackled by a deputy.

When caught, Mr. Lummus went again before the judge, who cited Mr. Lummus for contempt and assaulting an officer of the court, the defense attorney, and sentenced him to six months in jail to be served before he serves any possible prison time.

Deputies also charged Mr. Lummus with escape.

When jurors returned to court, Mr. Lummus was in handcuffs, ankle shackles, and a belly belt to restrict his movement. Mr. Oswall asked the judge to instruct jurors not to hold the restraints against Mr. Lummus and base their decisions on the evidence.

Mr. Lummus is accused of shooting Antonio Moore in the head in an April 13, 2011, incident.

Mr. Moore was inside a store when, authorities allege, Mr. Lummus and another man entered the store wearing masks, bound Mr. Moore with duct tape, and robbed him and the store.

When Mr. Moore got loose and confronted the men, Mr. Lummus shot him in the head, police say.