Fists fly after verdicts are read in Florida court

It was chaos in an Ocala, Florida courtroom, as fists were flying and deputies discharged tasers.

Four young men were on trial for the 2016 murder of Courtney London.  On Friday, shortly after all four of their guilty verdicts were read, the courtroom erupted. 

In surveillance video, one of the defendants in the top-right corner, Travis Davis, can be seen throwing multiple punches at his attorney, Daniel Hernandez. 

“I got about five punches to the back and the side of my head, forehead. I got a few bumps and bruises, some scratches,” Hernandez said. 

A struggle begins, and deputies move in to break up the scuffle.  People in the courtroom scream, as the other defendants jump in to join the fight. 

Deputies were quick to take control of the situation, putting one of the defendants in a headlock.  The clicking sound of the tasers could be heard as one deputy yells to stop resisting. 

Hernandez said that, in his experience, the fight was unprecedented. 

“I’ve been trying cases for almost 40 years, and I’d never been struck by a defendant before.” 

As the courtroom cleared out, Hernandez said he was able to get his bearings, slowly processing what had just happened. 

“I’m bleeding out of my hand, I’m not sure how that happened. I guess I may have hit the table or something, so my vision is bad, when I can’t find my glasses.  So for two or three minutes, you’re just reacting. You’re not really thinking.” 

Hernandez said that, while he understands that a life sentence is a heavy weight on a man’s shoulders, he never expected things to get physical. 

“We’d had our disagreements on some things, but we never, nothing physical had ever happened, and I certainly was not expecting to get punched.” 

All of the defendants: Kiila Richardson; Travis Davis; Branden Banks; and Kelvon Grimmage were forcibly removed in handcuffs.  

Davis returned to the courtroom and apologized on the record.  Hernandez declined medical attention and said it’s unlikely the defendants will be charged for the fight.