July 23, 2014 2:14 pm

Man lunges at accused in Loretta Saunders murder during preliminary hearing

Blake Leggette is pictured in Halifax on April 22, 2014.

Darren Pittman/The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – Four sheriffs had to restrain a man in Halifax provincial court today after he lunged in the direction of two people accused in the death of Loretta Saunders.

The scuffle broke out shortly after Judge Anne Derrick left the courtroom for a brief break following testimony on the third day of a preliminary hearing.

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An uncle of Saunders was in the third row of the public gallery and muttering expletives directed at the two accused when he suddenly lunged forward, yelling.

Two sheriffs and other people in the gallery struggled to restrain the man while four other sheriffs rushed the accused, Blake Leggette and Victoria Henneberry, through a back door to a secure area behind the courtroom.

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Two more sheriffs burst into the courtroom and were able to subdue the man, who was led out of the courtroom and asked not to return.

Other people in the gallery sobbed, wailed and embraced each other as the man was led away.

One woman, wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Saunders and her father, pleaded with everyone to remain calm.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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