A judge says a woman told that she had violated her bail conditions and would be sent to jail pulled out a hidden knife and stabbed herself last week in his eastern Pennsylvania courtroom.
Northampton County District Judge Robert Hawke said the 59-year-old Easton woman was conscious and alert as she was being taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest after Thursday's events. Officials said she was expected to recover.
Authorities said the defendant was in court on charges including aggravated assault by vehicle while under the influence stemming from an Oct. 27 crash in Lehigh Township that injured two of her passengers.
Her attorney waived her right to a preliminary hearing, but the judge increased her bail after pretrial services alleged she had violated bail conditions. He said that he had left the bench to complete paperwork when she pulled the weapon out of her bra and stabbed herself twice below the rib cage.
“She was bending over when I exited the door,” Hawke said. “I heard a commotion. Then I saw her on the floor with the two Pennsylvania state constables.”
Hawke said there was no warning and the woman's actions came as “a shock." He said she will be guarded by county sheriffs while she is recovering until it is safe for her to be sent to the county jail.
District Attorney Terry Houck said authorities are investigating and will determine whether charges of bringing a weapon into the courtroom are warranted.
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A message seeking comment was left for the defendant's attorney Sunday.