WARREN - A 29-year-old Warren woman who was shot while her friend was murdered in a nearby room in her house in September lashed out at her accused attacker in court Tuesday.
Melissa Putnam was quickly removed from the courtroom of Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan, who was hearing an initial pre-trial for David Martin, 28, of Cleveland, who could face the death penalty in the Sept. 27 murder of Jeremy Cole, Putnam's friend.
Cole, 21, was shot in the head, and Putnam, 29, was shot in the hand. The bullet traveled through her hand into her neck, and she spent several days in the hospital before recovering.
Attorneys in the courtroom about 11 a.m. said Martin antagonized Putnam by ''mouthing'' remarks to her - some of which could be considered incriminating.
One attorney claims Martin, who was in the jury box, said, ''I should have shot you'' to Putnam.
And Larry and Wanda Cole, parents of the murder victim, said Martin snapped at Putnam that she was the one who tied Cole up (before the murder). Putnam yelled back, ''You made me tie him up!''
Police initially never reported that both Cole and Putnam were tied up and placed in different rooms at 2220 Oak Circle S.W. during the apparent robbery.
After a heated exchange, Putnam was removed from Logan's courtroom, screaming obscenities while she was handcuffed and taken across the street to Trumbull County Jail.
Putnam's father followed her out of the court before Martin's court proceeding started. Other deputies were called to the third-floor court to assist as Putnam's yells were heard throughout the building.
Putnam eventually apologized to deputies and was never charged.
Logan said he was signing a journal entry that called for between four and six deputies to handle security during future hearings for Martin.
Logan also scheduled a tentative trial date for Martin on May 20 and the next pre-trial on Feb. 15.
A team of three defense attorneys for Martin were approved to hire a psychological expert and a mitigation expert to assist them in the case.
Martin was indicted in October on charges of aggravated murder with the death penalty specifications and attempted aggravated murder.
Martin also faces firearms specifications on both charges as well as counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping and a repeat violent offender specification, having weapons while under disability, receiving stolen property because it is alleged he used a stolen gun and tampering with evidence because he tried to burn his clothes.
U.S. Marshals arrested Martin on Oct. 16 in Tallmadge.
Neighbors described the incident as an attempted robbery. One said Cole and Putnam were inside when another man entered and opened fire.
Detectives confirmed that money was stolen from Putnam's purse by the gunman.
A detective said Cole and Putnam knew Martin, but weren't aware of his name. Putnam reportedly told detectives Martin had been in the house before. Another detective said Martin has a prior criminal record and had served prison time out of Cuyahoga County for robbery and felonious assault.