Courtroom brawl follows guilty verdict

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — During the last case of the day, a brawl broke out in the Northampton County courtroom Monday.

According to Sheriff David Doughty, it happened just after the verdict was announced in the bench trial for 20-year-old Elijah Carpenter. Judge William Revell found him guilty of malicious wounding, and when the verdict was read, the defendant’s two brothers and sister tried to attack friends and family of the victim.

The Sheriff’ said there was some yelling back and forth from both groups, and police stepped in to keep them apart.

Carpenter’s brother, 19-year-old Jermie Carpenter, hit one officer, tried to hit another and was arrested in the courtroom, Doughty said. He was charged with obstruction of justice, assault and battery on police officer and resisting arrest.

The judge, attorneys and several other people had to be escorted out of the courtroom. Sheriff Doughty said it took a few minutes to get the courtroom under control. Then the victim’s family and the defendant’s family were let out of the courtroom separately.

About 35 minutes later, Carpenter’s sister and other brother were arrested in two separate incidents outside the courtroom.

The sister, 23-year-old Caitlyn Rowley, was arrested for destruction of property of a police vehicle, after officers say she kicked and damaged the rear quarter panel of a police car when she left the courtroom. Then 18-year-old Jadeen Carpenter was charged with throwing a missile at an occupied vehicle, because police say he threw an object at a car that had family of the victim from the court case inside.

All three were arraigned Tuesday morning and are being held in jail without bond.

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