Convicted sex offender to face terrorism charge for courtroom attack

harding

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – On Wednesday Joshua Harding was sentenced to up to 38 years in prison for sexually assaulting an Okemos child last year.

Today the 35-year-old Okemos man faces four felonies for his August courtroom attack of an assistant Ingham County prosecuting attorney.

Moments before Harding was to hear the jury deliver the guilty verdict for the criminal sexual conduct charge, he allegedly pulled a shank from his shirt sleeve and lunged towards Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Roth.

Harding was wrestled to the floor by deputies. Roth and a deputy suffered minor injuries.

“I am thankful for the quick action of the Ingham County Sheriff Deputies in the courtroom and grateful that Asst. Prosecutor Roth suffered no serious injury,” said Schuette.

Today Attorney General Bill Schuette is charging Harding with four felonies. They are:

• Assault To Commit Murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison;
• Terrorism, a felony punishable by up to life in prison;
• Carrying A Concealed Weapon, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and;
• Possession of a Weapon in Jail, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Harding is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon.

According to the Attorney General’s office a person can be charged with terrorism if “a defendant commits a violent felony while intending to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or affect the conduct of government.”

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