SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The suspect being tried in the slayings of two Northern California sheriff’s deputies called one slain officer’s partner a “coward” and repeatedly and profanely interrupted the start of his murder trial Tuesday.
Prosecutor Rod Norgaard was describing in his opening statement how Deputy Scott Brown retreated under heavy fire that killed his partner, Sacramento sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver, outside a Sacramento motel in October 2014.
Luis Enrique Monroy Bracamontes grinned, then called Brown a “coward” before he was admonished by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White to remain silent, The Sacramento Bee reported .
“I wish I had killed more of the mother——-,” Bracamontes told jurors, adding that “I will break out soon and I will kill more, kill whoever gets in front of me…There’s no need for a f—— trial.”
White briefly removed the jury as defense attorneys said Bracamontes’ statements were more signs that their client is unfit to stand trial. The judge also warned Bracamontes that he could be removed from court.
They were the latest in a series of outbursts by Bracamontes, who could face the death penalty if convicted.
His wife, Janelle Monroy, is also charged in the slayings of Oliver and Placer County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Davis Jr. during a daylong crime spree.
Bracamontes has shouted that he is guilty and asked to be put to death in previous court hearings. He has threatened to kill his defense attorneys and more deputies, and once had to be restrained after White ruled that he can’t fire his lawyers.
Bracamontes is a Mexican citizen who repeatedly entered the United States illegally. His wife, who is an American citizen, faces life in prison if she is convicted.
Public defenders Jeffrey Barbour and Norm Dawson have argued that anti-immigrant sentiment spurred by President Donald Trump has made it unlikely that Bracamontes can get a fair trial. They have tried, without success, to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
White has previously ruled that Bracamontes is competent to stand trial and that he can be tried in Sacramento County despite heavy publicity.
Bracamontes was heavily shackled in court, while Monroy, who has mostly remained quiet, was wearing a gray and black dress without shackles or chains. He grinned during part of Norgaard’s statement and laughed when Norgaard said Bracamontes cared only about his dogs.
Separate juries are hearing the cases against the couple. Only jurors hearing Bracamontes’ case were in court at the time of his comment.
He is charged with killing Oliver and triggering an hours-long manhunt and chase that spanned 30 miles and parts of two counties. It ended after authorities say he shot Davis in Auburn.
His wife has contended that she was a victim of her abusive and paranoid husband who frequently used methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol during a meandering journey across several western states, from their home in Utah to Sacramento.