ANCHORAGE - Accused murderer Israel Keyes startled a federal courtroom Wednesday afternoon when he bolted from the defense table and jumped the railing into the audience.
Within several seconds he was wrestled down by court security personnel and was subdued with a taser.
Until that moment, this was a very serene court proceeding.
Federal prosecutors had finished making their argument that Keyes' trial for the murder of barista Samantha Koenig should be held in 10 months, giving the capital crimes unit in the Department of Justice time to decide on whether to seek the death penalty.
It was exactly nine minutes into the hearing when Keyes' attorney, Jacqueline Walsh, started to explain her position on a trial date.
Federal courts do not allow cameras, but audio of the ensuing event has been released.
Seemingly without making a sound, Keyes jumped the railing, immediately prompting shrieks from the other side of the courtroom, where family and friends of Samantha Koenig were seated together.
It was unclear whether Keyes was attempting to escape or if he was lunging for a particular person, but his path was in the direction of the door.
Within a couple of seconds he was seized by numerous hands, but continued to struggle and shrug off his would-be subduers.
"Kill him!" someone shouted.
Then some sort of stun gun was applied to Keyes' back, and he might have been knocked out, as he was handcuffed without further incident.
The courtroom was cleared shortly thereafter.
One woman wearing a t-shirt with Samantha’s photo said "kill him" as she exited.
James Koenig, Samantha’s father, apparently speaking on behalf of a dozen or more people, declined to comment outside the courtroom
The hearing was postponed to 2 p.m. Friday.
Kevin Feldis of the U.S. Attorney's Office would not comment on whether there would be a new charge against Keyes.
David Long, supervisory deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service, said a decision is pending on whether to keep Keyes in full restraints at future court appearances.
Keyes was handcuffed when he first appeared in court, but the cuffs were removed before the hearing began.
Also, Keyes somehow broke his leg irons, although Long says he doesn't know how or when.
Long says the Marshals Service probably will recommend full restraints, but that will be up to U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess, who was presiding today.