YORK, SC (CNN/WCNC) -- Right after a defendant was sentenced to 15-years in prison, he punched his public defender in the face. It happened in a South Carolina courtroom as surveillance cameras were rolling.
Lamarcus Williamson, 30, had pleaded guilty to robbery, drug and assault charges. He was about to be led out of court next to his public defender Dan Hall when something unexpected happened. Hall says, "Next thing I knew, I felt a blow to my mouth and I hit the floor."
It was over in just seconds as courtroom constables quickly subdued the Williamson. He'd just been sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbery. Hall told me he had no idea of what was about to happen. Hall says, "Never. Never saw him. Never saw it coming."
But looking back on the video just prior to the incident, it is clear that a constable had become concerned signaling other officers to be on alert. Trent Faris with the York County Sheriff's Office says, "You could see that they were doing their job and you could see that he was, he points and says 'Watch this guy' and before they can do anything, he came around and made that swing."
Hall's boss said what happened was totally unacceptable. Harry Dest says, "I think this is a good illustration of how difficult and challenging the job of a public defender is."
"I can't ultimately answer why anybody does anything but I know it's a pretty volatile, court itself can be pretty volatile."
Williamson has been given an additional six months behind bars for contempt of court and could still face additional charges of assault.
Halls lip is still swollen and while the pain is subsiding, he won't soon forget that day in court. He says, "I had a horse kick me in the face one time but never a human being kick me in the face."