The Seattle PI's Paul Shukovsky has the story of Mike Webb's performance Wednesday afternoon that began a cycle of events that culminated in his mistrial. But Prosecutor Nancy Balin is not buying it.
The 51-year-old Webb, the only witness for the defense, testified Wednesday morning and later told his sister, Marian Bagni, that he wanted to go home to clear his head before a verdict came in, according to Bagni and a police report.
But Bagni was concerned that her brother was suicidal, she later told Spector.
Webb had told her that if he was convicted the courts wouldn't need to sentence him, according to the police report. And Bagni said Webb had a gun in his house.
"I ran to the police officer and told him, 'I think he's going to go home and hurt himself,' " Bagni told Spector on Thursday.
Bagni said Webb was released from Harborview after promising to check himself into an inpatient treatment program.
But other behaviors by Webb puts the whole affair under suspicion.
Defense attorney Mark Larranaga said Webb's mental health has deteriorated, but the prosecutor suggested that the defendant deliberately sought a mistrial.
"Webb was aware that the jurors were watching" what unfolded in front of the courthouse, Balin said. She noted that Webb was heard to say: "This is going to end my trial."
"The state believes that raising the issue of competency now is a delay tactic," Balin said.
Balin said repeated disruptive demonstrations by Webb such as objecting to the presence of a press photographer in the courtroom and an altercation in a courthouse stairwell between Webb and a blogger aren't evidence of mental illness.
"A person who has trouble controlling himself during a bad, two-week trial is not necessarily mentally ill," the prosecutor said.