Dozens of Broward County Main Jail inmates had their hands cuffed behind their backs as they awaited their first court appearances Thursday morning. It was part of the increased security measures prompted by Wednesday’s attack on an attorney.
The man responsible for the heightened security was the first to appear before Judge Jackie Powell on Thursday.
A shackled William Green, 27, was charged with battery after punching Public Defender Julie Chase, knocking her to the floor, court records show.
Public Defender Adam Goldberg stood beside Green at his Thursday court appearance but said he would not be representing Green.
“I believe he would qualify for our [legal] services, however, based on what occurred [Wednesday] we have a conflict in our representation of Mr. Green,” he said. “So, at this time we’d be seeking to withdraw and I’d ask the court to appoint conflict-free counsel.”
Judge Powell said another judge would have to appoint a new lawyer for Green.
Goldberg said he could not respond to the judge’s decision regarding Green.
“We can’t represent him at today’s proceedings,” he said. “We have a conflict. I can’t represent him today.”
Green was rescheduled for a Thursday afternoon court appearance.
In addition to handcuffing every defendant, the chairs in the Broward Main Jail’s courtroom were rearranged to make it more difficult for anyone to approach an attorney or detention deputy from behind.
The Broward Public Defender’s Office complained about the level of security at the jail that failed to prevent the assault on Chase.
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said security would be increased but pointed out security at magistrate hearings was “lax” because the Broward Public Defender’s Office had a longstanding concern that handcuffs or shackles could suggest that defendant was guilty.
Chase received hospital treatment and was given a few days off to recover, officials said.