Death row inmate gets 5-10 years for punching lawyer in court

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A man on death row in the killing of his girlfriend in 2004 has been sentenced to 5-10 years in prison for sucker-punching his lawyer by swinging his cuffed hands during a court hearing.

Andre Staton pleaded guilty Tuesday via videoconferencing to charges of aggravated assault and simple assault in connection with the May 2013 attack on court-appointed lawyer Tim Burns.

The Altoona Mirror reports the 47-year-old from Baltimore apologized and said he wanted to resolve his assault charges so he could focus on appealing his murder conviction.

Staton was reportedly angry with Burns because he wanted to represent himself in the appeal. Burns suffering a severe concussion.

Stanton is challenging his conviction on charges he fatally stabbed Beverly Yohn of Altoona in February 2004.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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