Potentially the freakiest legal spectacle in the high desert is set to commence this December, just over the border in Ontario. It was supposed to begin on October 23, but on that particular day, the defendant in this particular trial, Michael Ivester, had some trouble getting to court on time--despite having a police escort to take him every step of the way from the Snake River Correctional Institute to the Malheur County Circuit Court.
Ivester is on trial for charges of aggravated attempted murder, attempted first-degree assault and supplying contraband following an incident at the prison involving a spear smeared with Ivester's Hepatitis C-infected blood which he allegedly attempted to use to, duh, hurt somebody. However, on the morning of October 23, when prison officials gave Ivester a pre-trial metal detector sweep--"La di da, it's just a formality, Boss, since we already searched this scary mofo this morning, we swear"--they encountered something scary: A noise. Noises, for those who aren't familiar with metal detection technology--skip to the next sentence, public school teachers--indicate metal. And in this case, they indicated metal located inside the defendant.
"It was a weapon," said Oregon Department of Corrections communications manager Perrin Damon in an interview with BW. The weapon, she added, was handmade, just like the one that Ivester allegedly used to stab correctional officers Gary Russell and Mark Taylor in 2004 while serving a 25-year sentence at another prison in Oregon. And how'd he get it in there? "Use your imagination," Damon said.
According to a story in the Ontario Argus Observer, Ivester's trial was cancelled that day and the jury released. His new date is December 12, but the drama doesn't end at the simple change of date. Ivester fired his court-appointed attorney on October 25, meaning that at his trial, he can either utilize another court appointed attorney, hire his own or--the favored choice for fans of courthouse drama--represent himself.
Tell BW your true crime stories. E-mail Nicholas Collias at firstname.lastname@example.org.