Convicted murderer punches attorney in court

A Baltimore man on death row for killing his estranged girlfriend in 2004 punched his attorney in the face at the conclusion of a motion hearing in Blair County Court this morning.

Andre Staton, convicted of the murder of Beverly Yohn of Altoona, was in court Monday morning for a hearing on two motions in his appeals.

His attorney, Tim Burns of Ebensburg, asked Blair County Judge Elizabeth Doyle to recuse herself from Staton’s case because she presided over his murder trial and Staton’s protection-from-abuse order hearing. Doyle refused.

She also denied Staton’s request to represent himself during his appeals.

As the hearing was concluding, Staton said he wanted to drop his appeals and get the lethal injection.

Staton was in handcuffs, which were attached to a belt. He raised his arms and swung them like a bat, striking Burns in the face, knocking him to the floor.

Burns, who said he was having troubling seeing after being hit, was taken out of the courtroom on a stretcher.

Mirror reporters are working on a story for Tuesday.