Emotional outburst disrupts death penalty trial in NY attack
Emotions ran high Thursday in death penalty proceedings for a man convicted of killing eight people on a New York City bike path, as the man’s father professed both shame and love for his son and the defendant’s uncle shouted “dirty ISIS bastards!” and punched a door as he left the room.
Habibulloh Saipov’s testimony in Manhattan federal court and the subsequent outburst came in front of a jury that must decide whether Sayfullo Saipov gets death or life in prison for the Halloween day attack in 2017, when he drove a truck along the busy path near the World Trade Center memorial, mowing down pedestrians and cyclists.
“I’m sorry that this has occurred,” Judge Vernon S. Broderick said after the jury left the room. He expressed concern at the effect the dramatic turn might have on jurors and warned defense lawyers to ensure there was no repeat of such behavior. Testimony did not resume for two hours.
“That we’re disappointed at that is an understatement,” lawyer David Patton told the judge. Broderick later banned the uncle from the courthouse.