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A defendant slit his own throat in a Palo Alto courtroom Tuesday, announcing as his blood splattered: “Don’t touch my blood. I have AIDS.” Kevin Stevenson was taken to Stanford Medical Center. His condition wasn’t known at press time. Lawyers in Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Diane Northway’s courtroom said Stevenson was there for a bail revocation hearing when he started slashing his neck. “The judge indicated he was going to remand him and asked him to sit down in the front row,” said Deputy DA Maxmilian Zarzana. “I was standing in the well trying to get him a couple more weeks,” said the defendant’s attorney, Kent Russell, a San Francisco post-conviction specialist. “I hear screaming and turn around, and the first thing I saw was an enormous pool of blood.” Stevenson repeatedly yelled, “Don’t touch my blood, I have AIDS” and “Don’t take me to jail,” witnesses said. It’s unclear what Stevenson used to slash his throat. The public is required to pass through metal detectors when they enter the courthouse and all bags are screened. Stevenson had been out on bail pending the appeal of his conviction for possession of 40 grams of heroin. Stevenson, who had one prior conviction, faced four years in prison, but Northway had allowed him to post bail due to his medical condition. Russell said his client had violated the terms of his release agreement when he went to a Home Depot to buy bandages for an injury and tried to pay with a counterfeit $5 bill. Deputy Paul Jensen, who is assigned to Northway’s courtroom, lunged at Stevenson in an effort to restrain him. Northway pushed the courtroom’s panic button, calling deputies from other courtrooms to assist. The judge then left the courtroom. Witnesses say it didn’t appear as though Stevenson was trying to splash blood on the judge, attorneys or audience. But they said deputies’ clothes, shoes and hands were covered in blood, as was the defendant. The deputies ordered everyone out of the courtroom, and Stevenson was rushed to the hospital. Russell said Tuesday afternoon that he knew his client was unstable and in fact was appealing his client’s guilty plea on the grounds that Stevenson was incompetent.

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