The stepfather of a personal assistant convicted of murdering her boss, a former punk-rock manager, was arrested Monday after loudly berating a judge about his handling of the case.
Daniel Walsh leapt from his seat in the courtroom audience and denounced state Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers for not letting Walsh's stepdaughter, Natavia Lowery, ditch defense lawyers she tried to fire during her trial.
"We have the right to change counsel!" Walsh repeatedly shouted at Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers. Court officers ushered Walsh out of the room.
Family lawyer Paul Brenner said Walsh was upset about his stepdaughter's conviction last month in the 2007 slaying of Linda Stein. Stein, 62, co-managed the Ramones at their 1970s peak before she became a real estate broker with such clients as Madonna and Sting.
"He feels strongly about his daughter, as do all the family members, and they feel strongly about this issue of representation," Brenner said.
Lowery, now 28, confessed to bludgeoning Stein to death but later recanted. Lowery's attorneys said police induced a false confession by questioning her during a more than 12-hour period that spanned overnight.
Prosecutors said Lowery had stolen more than $30,000 from Stein and wanted to silence her boss about the theft. The defense lawyers acknowledged the stealing but denied Lowery killed Stein.
Lowery attempted to fire her court-paid lawyers in the midst of her trial. They have asked since her conviction to get off the case, while Brenner is seeking to take over. Carruthers has denied all the requests so far.
Lowery faces up to 25 years to life in prison. Her sentencing had been set for Monday but was postponed to April 26 because a pre-sentencing report wasn't ready.
Walsh faces up to a year in jail if convicted in the contempt case.