Raleigh, N.C. — A Holly Springs man on trial for second-degree murder had to be forcibly removed from a Wake County courtroom Tuesday after he yelled at the prosecutor during closing arguments.
Samuel Gideon is accused of stabbing Eleazar Herrera to death after encountering him at the scene of a car crash on New Hope Road on Jan. 15, 2012.
Herrera, 20, was with his cousins on their way home the morning of the crime when they noticed a wrecked GMC Envoy and stopped to help. Police said there was some kind of argument, and Herrera was stabbed.
In closing arguments, defense attorney Tommy Manning said Herrera was not the good Samaritan he has been portrayed to be. He said Herrera was drunk and angry when he confronted Gideon and another man, Christopher Todd Rochelle, because he thought the pair had nearly hit his car.
“You want some of this?” Manning said, repeating what Herrera allegedly said to his client. “Those aren’t the words, those aren’t the gestures of a Good Samaritan.”
Gideon “has testified that he thought he was going to get the crap beat out of him or get killed,” Manning said.
But the state argued the slaying was not in self-defense. Prosecutor David Saacks said Gideon and Rochelle had weapons; Herrera did not.
"If someone hits you, you’re not entitled to kill them,” Saacks said.
At one point, Gideon became enraged and yelled at Saacks during his closing.
“You want a conviction,” he said, getting out of his seat. “I was there. I had a green coat on. Take me out of here. I had a green coat on.”
After Gideon was taken out of the room by deputies, Saacks told the jury to disregard the outburst.
“Don’t worry about that,” he said. “Focus on the process.”
Manning requested Gideon be placed in restraints when court reconvenes Wednesday. The jury should begin deliberations then.
Rochelle is also charged in the case. His trial has not begun.