A Franklin County judge abruptly ended a hearing Tuesday when the defendant refused to listen to court orders and kept reading from a motion he filed earlier this month.
Kenyatta K.E. Bridges became argumentative toward the end of the hearing, questioning what evidence there is to support a murder charge.
“I’m tired of all this, really, I am. I don’t even know why I’m sitting here,” said Bridges, who is being held in the Franklin County jail on $500,000 bail.
Judge Carrie Runge explained to Bridges that a new lawyer had been appointed to his case because of his motion, and that he should direct all questions to defense attorney Karla Kane.
But Bridges said he wanted to ask Deputy Prosecutor Brian Hultgrenn why he is charged in the Dec. 3 death of Lorenzo “Richie” Fernandez Jr. when apparently bullets not connected to Bridges were found in the victim’s body.
Bridges is charged in Franklin County Superior Court with first-degree murder while he or an accomplice was armed with a deadly weapon, conspiracy and second-degree unlawful possession of a gun.
Prosecutors say Bridges was involved in luring Fernandez to the parking lot of a Pasco apartment complex, was armed with a 9-mm pistol as the 22-year-old was killed — though he did not fire any shots — and fled with the suspected shooter, DeShawn I. Anderson.
Bridges’ wife, Mary A. Faucett, is accused of getting Fernandez’s phone number and setting him up for the ambush by calling him to meet at Stonegate Apartments.
On Tuesday, Bridges said he wanted to know how prosecutors can say Fernandez’s death is his fault.
“You got my family at risk. You know how this feels sitting in jail each day?” he said. “Come on now, I didn’t do anything.”
Bridges said he wanted to consult with the court, not his attorney, about the charges. Runge told him she previously found probable cause to hold him based on an affidavit written by police and filed by prosecutors.
“Of murder?” Bridges asked.
Runge reminded him that the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, so prosecutors will have to prove their case at trial. She also said Bridges should talk about the charges with Kane.
Bridges ignored the judge’s orders and started reading out loud from his motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Hultgrenn objected.
Kane tried to get her client to stop talking but, when he wouldn’t, Runge walked off the bench.
“Mr. Bridges, we’ll be in recess,” the judge said before leaving the courtroom. “We’re not taking down anything more” for the court record.
“Oh, everybody gotta walk the (expletive) out?” Bridges responded, as corrections officers tried to escort him out. “No, I’m sick of this.”
He also complained a few times about his case being published in the newspaper.
Kane was assigned the case by the bicounty Office of Public Defense after lawyer Scott Johnson was removed on March 6, just days before the trial was scheduled to start.
Runge had decided there would be a conflict of interest for Johnson to continue because Bridges’ motion included the claim that a court-appointed attorney is compelled to lie.
Bridges’ trial is set for May 6.