A Colorado Springs man facing the death penalty hurled a laptop across the courtroom Monday before opening remarks at his trial, disrupting the start of El Paso County's first capital case in 10 years.
The outburst by Glen Law Galloway, 46, occurred during a closed session, outside the presence of the jury and the public, and led the judge to temporarily eject the defendant from his own trial.
Galloway, an ex-Fort Carson soldier accused in back-to-back slayings in May 2016, missed the prosecution's opening statement but was permitted to return for the defense's remarks -- this time wearing restraints.
"No one's gonna talk to me now, or what?" he said as he settled back in at the defense table amid stony silence from his court-appointed public defenders.
Galloway, with close-cropped gray hair, was in an orange jail jumpsuit, having refused to wear a suit. The judge said he will leave it to Galloway what he wishes to wear each day.
The rocky start came in a trial that officially began March 5, with two months of questioning during which a field of 3,000 county residents was winnowed to a jury panel of 18, including six alternates. Testimony is expected to last six weeks. If the jury convicts Galloway, it must decide whether to impose life in prison or death -- a process that also could take weeks.
County prosecutors last sought the death penalty in 2008 against cop killer Marco Lee, who pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison plus 167 years.
Galloway's jury -- 10 men and eight women -- wasn't present for discussions about his outburst or the enhanced courtroom security that resulted.
Galloway had asked the judge for a "conflict hearing," which usually indicates an irreconcilable dispute between a defendant and his defense team.
After the judge refused his request for new representation, the defendant grabbed a laptop belonging to deputy public defender Julian Rosielle, one of his attorneys, and threw it across the room, "narrowly missing my court reporter," 4th Judicial District Judge Gregory Werner said in recounting the incident on the record before the jury returned.
Galloway has a history of trying to "control" how his trial will be conducted, Werner said, echoing a theme -- control -- that ran through both opening statements.
Prosecutor Reggy Short portrayed Galloway as a man who refused to be constrained by the law as he sought grisly revenge against his ex-girlfriend, Janice Nam, 26. After being convicted of stalking her in late 2015, Galloway cut off an ankle bracelet and went into hiding -- resurfacing for an alleged killing spree over Memorial Day weekend in 2016.
First he fatally shot friend Marcus Anderson, 57, on May 29 inside a unit at Century Street Self Storage on North El Paso Street in central Colorado Springs, intent on securing his silence, Short said.
Ten hours later, on May 30, he used Anderson's sport-utility vehicle to sneak into Nam's neighborhood, allegedly forced his way into her east side house in the 6000 block of Miramont Street as she slept and killed her with two gunshots to the head as she lay in bed. The deadly home invasion lasted less than a minute, authorities said.
In his opening remarks, Short held up Nam's bedroom door and displayed the large hole where Galloway allegedly kicked it in.
"This barrier, like so many others over a two-year period, failed Janice," Short said, describing how Nam also sought a restraining order against Galloway.
But deputy public defender Kim Chalmers offered a different spin on control. She said Galloway "lost control over his mind and actions" after being forced to kill Anderson in self-defense, telling the panel that a meth-addicted Anderson had stolen Galloway's gun and threatened him with it.
In a state of "emotional despair," Chalmers said, Galloway went to Nam's home the next day and killed her.
"After it sunk in what he had done, he turned himself in," she said. Galloway walked to a check-in window at the county jail May 31, carting two backpacks, one containing the weapon used in the shootings.
Prosecutors say they will prove their case relying in part on video from the home surveillance system that Nam purchased after the restraining order failed to keep Galloway from harassing her.
Short described extensive forensic evidence linking Galloway to the crimes, and he asked the jury to hold Galloway accountable where previous efforts to constrain him had failed.
Chalmers conceded that Galloway shot both people but said he didn't have a culpable mental state.
She said Galloway lost control when Nam grew upset over his infidelity and launched a campaign of lies against him, costing him his job at Atmel Corp., a former Colorado Springs semiconductor manufacturer, and causing him to be convicted of serious crimes he didn't commit.
Galloway was an Army sergeant, serving as a scout and helicopter mechanic, from 1991 to 1997, records show. He served in Hawaii for three years and was transferred to the 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Carson before being honorably discharged.
Galloway and Nam met at Atmel Corp., where he worked in maintenance and she on the assembly line.
The first witness called to the stand Tuesday was Isabelle Wolfe, Nam's sister. She recounted how she went to Nam's house May 30 after her text messages went unanswered -- and walked in to find shattered glass from a rear sliding door and a hammer resting in a dog bowl.
Bloody paw prints from Nam's two dogs led to the bedroom, where Wolfe found her sister slumped in her bed, cold to the touch, she said through tears.
This article is written by Lance Benzel from The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.