ANCHORAGE - How did he do it?
Israel Keyes, charged with the murder of barista Samantha Koenig, cut short his court hearing Wednesday with an apparently premeditated escape attempt.
The U.S. Marshals Service, which provides court security, is investigating the 30-second incident that had family and friends of Samantha shouting and crying.
This is a rare incident in U.S. District Court in Alaska, and in one respect is a unique one.
It raises the question of how Keyes will be restrained from now on, starting at a hearing Friday afternoon.
Wednesday’s hearing was scheduled to handle technical matters in the murder case of Samantha Koenig.
The prosecution and defense expressed agreement that the case is formally “complex,” which loosens the requirement that a trial must be held within 70 days of arraignment.
As one of the defense attorneys started to respond to the prosecution's push for a trial 10 months from now, Keyes made his move, triggering a struggle that ended with him being tased.
Although Keyes was not handcuffed, he was supposed to have a tough set of leg irons on. How he got out of them remains a mystery.
"I’ve done this 20 years, I’ve never seen anybody pull that loose like that, no,” said David Long of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Long says he does not believe that Keyes could have broken the chain on the leg irons simply through brute strength.
But how else could he have done it?
"Yesterday’s incident is under investigation, so we can't really talk about the specifics of that incident."
It will be up to Judge Timothy Burgess to decide how Keyes will be restrained from now on.
"Right now we generally have everyone in leg irons, but it just depends on the judge, it depends on the case," Long said.
KTVA asked: "And typically you don't have them cuffed at the defense table?"
"Not in front of the judge or the jury, no," Long said.
So whenever this would get to trial, than that becomes an issue.
"It becomes an issue,” he agreed. "And it'll be for the judge to decide how we proceed."
It will be a matter of locks and Keyes