We were in shock Tuesday when defendant John Michael Howell spit on Wetzel County Prosecutor Timothy Haught. The event never should have happened. Sure, we are well aware that anything can happen at anytime, but the Wetzel County Sheriff, serving as bailiff at that hearing, should have intervened. They should have seen Howell approaching Haught and stopped the interaction. After all, that is why they are in the courtroom.
What if it had been a knife he wielded instead of his saliva? What if he had then turned on more people in the courtroom?
We understand that court proceedings can become commonplace, they do for us as reporters as well. However, there is a reason defendants are facing charges. They are to be treated accordingly.