Gang member shot dead in court after he rushes witness stand

Frederick Owens
March 14, 2018

In the video from the 2014 trial, defendant Siale Angilau can be seen standing from his chair, taking a pen from his defense counsel's table, sprinting and lunging toward the witness, who narrowly ducked out of the way before a US marshal shot four times, striking Angilau.

The witness jumps out of the way and after various commands, including, "drop the pen" and "get on the ground", "Deputy Jane Doe", a U.S. Marshal, fired four shots, killing Angilau.

The family of Siale Angilau, 25, have argued that the USA marshal who shot him dead used excessive force.

In a statement obtained by Deseret News US District Court Judge John Dowdell said the video contradicts the plaintiff's argument that Angilau stopped posing a danger within less than one second of launching himself at the witness stand.

"Drop the pen out of your hand", an officer yells at Angilau after he has been shot.

The video in question was evidence the officer who shot defendant Siale Angilau, a member of the Tongan Crips gang, was justified in his actions, the judge concluded.

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Angilau's family sued the court, with attorney Robert Sykes saying Angilau had ceased hostilities after leaping into the witness box. He also noted that the defendant was already on the ground when the Marshall fired the final three shots, CBS News also reported.

Skyes said: "There was no need to use deadly force".

"Angilau was in custody, but he essentially had escaped custodial control for those seconds during which he was executing his plan to assault the witness", the judge added.

Angilau was rushed to the hospital with at least one chest wound and later died from his injuries.

Angilau was one of 17 people named in the 2010 indictment against Tongan Crip members, accusing them of assault, conspiracy, robbery and weapons offences. Angilau (pictured) is no longer visible at that point. However, on Friday, Dowdell dismissed the suit on the basis that the marshal had reasonable belief the defendant was going to harm or kill the witness.

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