A convicted double murderer took out his frustration on his own defense attorney during his sentencing hearing on Monday.
Video shared by NBC News affiliate NBC2 shows Joseph Zieler elbowing his attorney Kevin Shirley in the face.
Video shows Zieler move close to Shirley as if he wanted a word with him. When the attorney leaned in to hear what his client had to say, a handcuffed Zieler swung his elbow and struck Shirley in the face.
Court bailiffs tackled Zieler to the floor before hustling him out of the courtroom.
“He had to know how the bailiffs would react,” Shirley said in a statement on Tuesday. “We had a very good working relationship. It was probably his last effort to put on a public display and I was the only civilian that he was able to lure within arms reach.”
The attorney jokingly told the judge he has been hit harder in the past.
According to court documents, Zieler was brought back into the courtroom and sentenced to death for the murders of an 11-year-old girl and her babysitter in Cape Coral, Fl in 1990.
Zieler escaped justice for 26 years before authorities made a DNA match in the cold case in November 2016. He was in Lee County Jail for assaulting his stepson at the time.
Watch the video below.