Legislature honors deputies who stopped knife attack in courtroom

Published: Sep. 21, 2016 at 9:49 PM EDT
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An attack on two prosecutors in a courtroom has lawmakers looking to give them another layer of protection.

Last month, a criminal defendant went after Ingham County assistant prosecutor Jonathan Roth and Molly "Hennessey" with a metal shank.

Wednesday, the legislature honored Ingham County deputies, James Beson and Mark Wadford and Meridian Township officer Brian Canen for stopping the attack.

Democrats have introduced a bill that calls for tougher penalties for anyone who tries to hurt court employees.

"That's one place where everyone assumes they should be safe, a place of justice," Says East Lansing Senator, Curtis Hurtel Jr.

"So I think it's incredibly important that we pass this legislation and make sure that these citizens that serve us in our courtrooms are protected."

The suspect in that attack was sentenced on sex crime charges.

He'll spend the next 19 to 38 years in prison for fondling two children at a local cemetery.

He was convicted on another sex crime in 2011.

Harding has not been charged yet in the courtroom attack.