Perry Cardwell took his daughter to the new federal courthouse in Salt Lake City yesterday to watch his mother testify in a decade-old robbery in a racketeering trial for an alleged Tongan Crip Gang member. Cardwell’s mother never got the chance to take the stand, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. Defendant Siale Angilau, 25, charged a witness testifying about life in the gang and was shot several times by a U.S. marshal. He died at a hospital hours later.
Angilau jumped up from the defense table and lunged toward the witness stand, where it appeared he tried to punch the witness while holding a pen or pencil. Courtroom spectators were ordered to get down, and everyone crawled beneath the benches. Angilau's trial was being heard in U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell's courtroom before a jury. The judge declared a mistrial, saying jurors, who witnessed the shooting from just feet away, were “visibly shaken and upset,” and would be unable to decide the case objectively. Angilau was among 17 TCG members and associates indicted on racketeering charges in 2010. Federal prosecutors allege the gang committed murders, robberies and assaults to expand its operations in the Salt Lake Valley over two decades.