The father of a woman killed by a convicted sex offender dove across a courtroom table to attack him Thursday, shortly after a judge sentenced the defendant to death for killing three people and wrapping their bodies in garbage bags, the AP reports. Van Terry, the father of Shirellda Terry, had walked to the front of the courtroom to give a victim-impact statement and turned toward Michael Madison, who gave him a malicious smile. Terry, 46, lunged at Madison and was immediately swarmed by sheriff's deputies as Madison and his attorneys scrambled to get out of the way. Law enforcement officers dragged Terry out of the courtroom and ushered him out of the courthouse. A spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor said the situation was being reviewed.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy McDonnell declined to clear the courtroom, and after about a 15-minute delay, the hearing continued. McDonnell accepted a jury's recommendation that Madison, 38, receive the death penalty. The same jury convicted Madison last month of multiple counts of aggravated murder and kidnapping. The bodies of 38-year-old Angela Deskins, 28-year-old Shetisha Sheeley, and 18-year-old Shirellda Terry were found in July 2013 near the East Cleveland apartment building where Madison lived. Madison told police he strangled two of the women but couldn't remember killing the third. Prosecutors say they were killed over a nine-month period, starting with Sheeley in October 2012, Deskins in May 2013 and Terry in July 2013.