On Tuesday, February 25th, a Wisconsin Courtroom was subject to a bizarre outburst when Taylor Schabusiness, a 25-year-old married woman, attacked her lawyer, Quinn Jolly, during a hearing to determine her fitness to stand trial.
Schabusiness is accused of decapitating her lover after choking him during a drug-fueled sexual encounter.
The courtroom altercation occurred after a witness failed to appear to testify on Schabusiness’ mental state. During the hearing, Schabusiness’ lawyer asked for two more weeks for the witness to complete his report. Judge Thomas Walsh reluctantly agreed and suggested a May 15 trial instead.
The outburst was caught on camera, showing Schabusiness jumping out of her seat and trying to grab at Jolly’s arm before striking him in the head. A Brown County sheriff’s officer tackled Schabusiness to the ground and struggled to keep her down as she tried to squirm out of his grasp.
The court employee asked people to clear the courtroom and two other sheriff’s deputies arrived to tackle the 25-year-old. A woman supporting Schabusiness also tried to calm her down, and they were able to get Schabusiness to calm down and sit her up against a door before leading her out.
When court resumed, Jolly informed the judge that he planned to file a motion asking to be removed as Schabusiness’ lawyer. The question of Schabusiness’ fitness to stand trial has been a central issue of her court proceedings since she was arrested last year.
She has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness or defect and if convicted, she could face life in prison.
Police records show that Tara Pakanich, 47, the victim’s mother, called authorities to her home in Green Bay’s west side shortly after 3 am on February 23. Police recovered evidence of drug-taking, including a glass pipe and bag containing light-colored powder, as well as the victim’s body from the scene.
Schabusiness remains in custody as hearings into her ability to stand trial continue.