Michigan House passes stiffer sentences for courthouse attacks

Joshua Harding attacks an assistant Ingham County prosecutor on August 2, 2016

Legislation passed by the Michigan House calls for increased penalties and tougher sentences for anyone who assaults courthouse workers.

The bills passed Tuesday on a 93 to 14 vote. They now head to the GOP-controlled Senate for further consideration.

Court personnel covered under the legislation include court reporters and defense attorneys.

The bills would increase maximum imprisonment from 10 years to 15 years for assaulting court personnel.

Republican state Rep. Kim LaSata from St. Joseph says it’s about protecting the people in the court houses.

The legislation comes after several courthouse attacks.

One of them involved Joshua Harding, a man who attacked an Ingham County assistant prosecutor in August of 2016 after he snuck a blade into a courtroom.

Another involved an inmate facing life in prison charges who killed two court bailiffs in a Berrien County courtroom last July.

On Tuesday, two people were arrested after trying to bring a loaded handgun into a Berrien County courthouse.

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