Inmate Punches Lawyer In The Face During Court Hearing

A man already in jail on a burglary charge in Scott County now faces assault charges.

Court officials say Peter Hafer punched his attorney during a hearing in a Scott County courtroom.

Hafer asked Judge Rob Johnson for a new court-appointed attorney. Moments after the judge denied that request, Hafer got into a scuffle with his attorney.

Doug Crickmer, the attorney, had to go to the hospital but has since been released.


GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) - A prisoner punched his public defender in the jaw during a court hearing in which a judge refused to grant the man's request for a new attorney.

The wild scene happened Monday at Scott County Circuit Court and was captured on a security video.

Defendant Peter Hafer, 30, of Cynthiana told the judge he didn't trust his court-appointed lawyer, Doug Crickmer. As Crickmer began to tell the judge that Hafer couldn't choose his public defender, Hafer landed the first punch.

"I just couldn't take it anymore and I just snapped," Hafer said later at the Scott County jail.

Bailiff Jim Traylor said Hafer hit the attorney multiple times in the face and stomach. Hafer was restrained on the ground. Crickmer was admitted to Georgetown Community Hospital and released later that day.

Rodney Barnes, directing attorney for the Public Advocate Frankfort Trial office, said Crickmer suffered a cut on his cheek and a black eye.

Hafer, who was arrested in August on charges of burglarizing a K-Mart store in June, will likely face an assault charge, Traylor said.

During the court hearing, Hafer asked Judge Rob Johnson to delay his trial later this month so he could prepare a better defense.

"I'd rather have the prosecutor be my attorney than him," Hafer said during the hearing, referring to Crickmer. "He'd probably give me a better trial."

Shortly before he was punched, Crickmer said that "legally, what Mr. Hafer wants is not permissible or will not be allowed by the court."

As for his request for a new attorney, Hafer apparently will get his way. Barnes said a new one will be appointed.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Cindy Location: Somerset on Feb 13, 2008 at 10:37 PM
    Big deal. Hello people, he is a thief. He will get lots of time with or without a lawyer. What difference does it make if the lawyer presses charges or not? All it would be is another expense for we, the taxpayer, to pay. He will get 20 years anyway.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 9, 2008 at 02:17 PM
    What did the five fingers say to the face? Smack!
  • by KY native Location: KY on Feb 9, 2008 at 07:32 AM
    Well Concerned Citizen, if you wanted to see negative stereotypes of KY confirmed, you came to the right place! Check back for even more offensive comments when there is an article about a dog attack or a record deer hunt.
  • by johnny Location: ky on Feb 9, 2008 at 05:11 AM
    sounds like the judge was scared he might get punched.the man got what he wanted. the judge should have just gave him ten years in the pin with out a trial.then give the lawer 5 years for not pressing charges on this nut.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 8, 2008 at 08:10 PM
    well all i have to say is if these stupid idiots would quit breaking the law they would be home we have laws quit breaking them how dumb do you have to be gees idiots I agree with mo. person i was born in ky. and its the horses rear right now. No jobs or nothing we are living 40 years ago and with frankfort the way it is commy as it is looks like it will stay this way.
  • by Henry Location: Clay City on Feb 8, 2008 at 03:38 PM
    Its pretty obvious that the person from MO who made a few stupid remarks is lacking in education or just common sense to say the least.
  • by Bill Location: Pulaski on Feb 8, 2008 at 11:18 AM
    I wonder if the the KBA and The Judicial Board of Retirement and Removal will investigate the officer's of this court room. Mr. Hafer violated the law by striking the attorney. Hmmm.........good news reporting!
  • by c Location: fkt on Feb 8, 2008 at 04:34 AM
    Concerned from MO, keep your nose in your own state! We are not uneducated, but rather refuse to be sucker by our college professors into thinking that all is good! I have a college degree and resent your whole attitude! I think this idiot sucker punched his attorney to get what he wanted: a new attorney. Sadly, the judge gave in to him. I would have made him either represent himself or keep the same attorney! Those getting WELFARE law shouldn't be so picky!
  • by Virgil Location: Richmond/Irvine on Feb 7, 2008 at 10:57 PM
    You know your a redneck when you punch out your own lawyer to get a new one despite a refusal from a judge. Stick that in your uppidy pipe and smoke it Concerned Citizen Location: MO. and yes it is sad that it made national news and the lawyer went on National TV to tell his story.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Feb 7, 2008 at 09:41 PM
    To the Concerned Citizen in MO: We KENTUCKIANS quit using "NOT" in the 80's. Try to keep up.


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