Courtroom attacker found guilty of sex assault, loses defense attorney

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — With a large wound to the head, Joshua Harding appeared by video in Ingham County Court Thursday.

The reason he didn’t appear in person to hear his verdict, was a sudden attack from the 35-year-old sex offender that happened two days ago.

“I was looking at my notes, looked up to see what was happening with the jury,” said John Frawley, Harding’s former attorney.

Frawley was standing right next to Harding in court on Tuesday, when his client took a weapon from his sleeve, lunged at a prosecutor, and tried to stab him.

“Knocked him to the floor almost immediately; they subdued and secured him rapidly,” Frawley said.

An Ingham County Sheriff’s Deputy was injured during the scuffle.

Frawley describes the weapon as a long jagged piece of metal.

It’s unknown where or when Harding got the makeshift weapon, or how he was able to get it past court security.

During the court proceedings Thursday, Harding said little, and made several strange expressions as he was found guilty of Criminal Sexual Conduct.

He was found guilty of sexually assaulting two children in a Meridian Township cemetery last year.

Because of the recent attack, Harding could face more charges.

But his attorney told 6 News that he can no longer defend him.

Not only was it a terrifying experience to go through, he witnessed the attack.

Frawley feels his continued help would be a conflict of interest.

“It was very scary and it was a big, physical confrontation. There were some pretty big people involved in a very loud kind of event. So, yeah it was frightening. The other deputies were immediately engaged. It was amazing how fast it occurred,” Frawley said.

Another sexual assault charge was thrown out because the jury couldn’t reach a decision.

Harding will be back in court Sept. 21 for sentencing.

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