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Las Vegas courtroom chaos raises questions about security, mental competency evaluations

Clark Co. District Attorney wants security review
Posted: 10:15 PM, Dec 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-12 07:25:22Z
Woods%2c Terhain 2684652 12-10-18.jpg
The Regional Justice Center in Downtown Las Vegas
The Regional Justice Center in Downtown Las Vegas
The Regional Justice Center in Downtown Las Vegas
The Regional Justice Center in Downtown Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson is calling for a "serious security review" at the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas after a convicted child abuser went on the attack during his sentencing hearing last week.

The request for a security review comes less than a week after convicted child abuser Tehrain Woods lunged at a Clark County Chief Deputy Attorney Dena Rinetti moments after he was sentenced up to 23 years in prison.

“Any time an in-custody defendant is able to attack anyone in court, let alone one of my prosecutors, we believe a serious review should occur with regard to the protection of the public and court personnel. I am requesting this review take place immediately, so events like this are prevented in the future.”
Steve Wolfson, Clark County District Attorney

The entire incident was caught on courtroom cameras.

"Once he had that clarification from the judge, you can hear the screech from the background, that was [Woods'] mother and that was just the final trigger that made him explode," said Michael Troiano, Woods' defense attorney.

In open court and during his sentencing argument, Troiano made it clear Woods mental stability and competency was in question even before the outburst.

"When I dealt with him, and what we saw in the courtroom, it demonstrates a completely different behavior than what we would all consider competent, in my opinion," said Troiano.

READ: REQUEST FOR WOODS' COMPETENCY EVALUATION

Court records show officials had concerns over Woods' mental stability from the beginning, however two evaluations deemed him mentally fit for trial.

Woods' attorney plans to file a conviction appeal.

A spokesperson for the Regional Justice Center released the following statement regarding the Clark County District Attorney's call for a security review

The video from the sentencing of Terhain Woods demonstrates the potential for danger in any courtroom. Security is a top priority at the courthouse. We welcome any review that may lead to improvements in our security procedures to ensure the safety of everyone in the courthouse.
Mary Ann Price, Spokesperson

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