UPDATE: 5:00 p.m., Friday, August 26, 2016
Sheriff Fred Abdalla said he watched the surveillance footage and thinks his deputy Robert Price did everything he could.
“Right now, I’m concerned about deputy price. As I watched the video I got this sick feeling in my stomach because he almost went over with Mr. Binkiewicz. He did have a hold of his shirt. And like the prosecutor said, it’s a tragedy that transpired,” said Sheriff Abdalla.
Binkiewicz was shackled with his hands around his waist, but not at the feet, because he complained his ankles were swollen and they hurt.
“I don’t think anyone thought this was going to happen today. Sometimes if we’re aware if something like that has happened in the past or that there have been those types of threats then we’re looking for that or maybe taking some additional actions,” said Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin.
Hanlin said typically when they’ve had to remove people from the courthouse some sort of outburst of violence. In letters written by Binkiewicz, he had threatened to kill witnesses who testified at his trial, but never himself.
“Narcotics cases, gang cases… You’ll see episodes of violence we’re taking steps to protect. This is the first time that something like this has happened,” said Hanlin.
“This man had his mind made up that he was going to do this. He succeeded. Again, I’m thankful the deputy didn’t go over with him,” said Sheriff Abdalla.
The sheriff and prosecutor say they will be looking into all security practices at the courthouse to ensure this will not happen again.
ORIGINAL POST: 11:28 a.m., Friday, August 26, 2016
A Jefferson County man convicted for the attempted murder of Ronald Horton is dead after jumping from a stairwell after being sentenced to 13 years in prison.
7News reporter Kristine Varkony witnessed Jason Binkiewicz jumping over the railing of the courthouse stairs after his sentencing. Steubenville Police detectives are on scene taking pictures of the body. The courthouse has been cleared out.
Binkiewicz was convicted of shooting Horton in the face the day after Thanksgiving. Witnesses say Horton was found by a neighbor on her porch who called 911. The defense argued there was a struggle for the gun during a drug deal.