Arguing with a judge in court is a dicey proposition. That’s even more true when you’re the defendant in the murder trial and jurors are watching. That happened to Florida man Henry Segura when he was being cross-examined on the stand Wednesday.
Judge James Hankinson told Segura not to interrupt the prosecutor’s question.
“She’s asking the same question over and over,” Segura said.
“Be quiet,” Hankinson said.
“Be quiet,” Hankinson said even louder.
Segura gave him an incredulous look.
“Now,” Hankinson said.
“Who you pointing at?” Segura said. “Who you pointing at? I’m a grown man.”
Hankinson told him to wait for the prosecutor to finish her question before answering. He asked the defendant if this was clear.
“Yeah, that’s very clear,” Segura said.
You can see the exchange starting at about 2:05 in the video player above.
The defendant stands trial for allegedly murdering his girlfriend Brandi Peters, 27, and her three children: their 3-year-old son JaVante Segura, and Tamiyah and Taniyah Peters, the victim’s twin 6-year-old daughters who were not Segura’s kids. He did because he owed over $20,000 in a child support judgment to care for JaVante, prosecutors said.
Henry Segura was noticeably more calm during direct examination in his testimony Wednesday. He downplayed the amount of money he owed, saying he was ready to show receipts in court in order to get that judgment reduced. The defendant admitted to being a cheater, and being married to another woman. During cross-examination, however, Segura maintained he had no reason to whatsoever to kill the children.
#SeguraRetrial – Dugan going over Segura’s lies he told police, specifically not telling them he was at Brandi’s house just before the murders. Segura says he lied because he didn’t want his wife to know he was at Brandi’s. https://t.co/OIZJTFqfTt pic.twitter.com/PD3zd4JzNF
— Law & Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) November 13, 2019
Segura testified that he was at Peters’ home the day of the murders. They had sex, and he left for home after that, he said. During cross-examination, the defendant said he considered JaVante his son, but he wasn’t sure if he really was the father. According to his testimony, Brandi Peters told him that he wasn’t the father. The defendant acknowledged during cross-examination that he wrote letters contesting that he should have to pay child support for JaVante.
Speaking during direct examination, Law&Crime Network analysts agreed Segura’s testimony helped him.
Criminal defense attorney Sarah Becker said that Segura came across as credible, and answered the questions clearly.
“And importantly, he’s taken a lot of the wind out of the sails of the prosecution’s theory that these murders were committed because of his child support situation,” she said.
Forensic death investigator Joseph Scott Morgan agreed that Segura looked credible. The defendant was “even-tempered” and didn’t seem “easily rattled.” But Morgan also added, “It’ll be interesting to see how he deals with the prosecution’s cross.”
Well, Segura got a little rattled. It remains to be seen if his spat with the judge will hurt him in the eyes of the jury. This is his retrial. His first trial ended in a mistrial after jurors were deadlocked 8-4 in favor of acquittal.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]