Posted by Trina Edwards - email
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Suspected serial killer Anthony Kirkland will wear a stun belt when he goes to trial in March.
The decision was made Tuesday morning during a pre-trial hearing.
Kirkland is suspected of killing four women - Casonya Crawford, Mary Jo Newton, Kimya Rolison and Esme Kenney.
A stun belt fastens around a subject's waist, leg or arm and carries a battery and control pack. If a subject misbehaves, an electric shock is sent via remote control to the control pack.
Cincinnati homicide detectivs said Kirkland has made several references to "suicide by police" when he was interviewed last March after the death of Esme Kenney.
"It's unusual for a guy to tempt the police to take him out so he can be shot," said Mark Piepmeier, Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor. "We don't want something to happen in court where he might dash for the door and hurt somebody watching the trial or go at the jury or even his own attorneys."
Kirkland's attorney, Norm Aubin, argued that putting a stun belt on a suspect already gives him an unfair advantage in trial.
"We have to be careful that no one is aware he is wearing it because the jurors should not see somebody in a stun belt. It would reflect he isn't getting a fair trial," said Aubin.
Jurors won't see the stun belt. It will be worn under Kirkland's clothing.