A man from Miami, Florida, drank a cup of bleach in a courtroom after a jury returned a guilty verdict on an armed robbery charge against him.
Jermaine Bell, 38, downed the entire cup of bleach after the judge read out the guilty verdict. Horrifying video footage of the moment he drank bleach showed he collapsed almost immediately, and paramedics took him out of courtroom.
The 38-year-old has spent almost four years in custody for an armed robbery he committed in December 2018.
Police arrested him on December 2, 2018, after he posed as a courier and gained access to the Millenium Engine Plating factory in Miami. He pulled a gun on employees.
People in the courtroom who witnessed the poisoning incident are still astonished about how the convict managed to get a hold of the cup filled with the poisonous bleach and hope that someone will be held accountable for the near-death incident.
Reverend Jerome Starling, a distant relative of the defendant, spoke to a local news outlet and narrated the events of the incident. The reverend said he noticed Bell drinking something from the cup and immediately felt something was amiss.
He saw Bell’s attorneys and corrections officers letting him drink from the poisonous cup, and then Bell collapsed. Reverend Starling wondered how such a thing could happen in the full glare of the courtroom. He also said there is a need for accountability in the courtroom incident.
Despite his apparent suicide attempt, medics quickly gave Bell first aid, and he survived the death scare.
In the video, you can see Bell, dressed in a suit, chugging a liquid from what looks like a white disposable cup. A corrections officer then approaches the Miami-Dade inmate and orders Bell to spit out the liquid he had drunk into a trash can.
In defiance, Bell refuses to listen to the officer. He continues drinking from the cup until the bleach starts to affect him, prompting him to sit down and eventually collapse.
The video does not show what happened to him immediately after he collapsed, but it shows medical professionals taking Bell away a few moments later on a stretcher. It seemed he had changed out of his initial clothes, a suit, as he had on an orange jumpsuit when the medics took him out on the stretcher.
Bell’s cousin recorded the video footage of him drinking the bleach, and she told reporters that she immediately tried to help him.
She said she was the only one who jumped up and tried to get the rest of the people to help him when she noticed him drinking something from the white cup. The ordeal was very emotional for the family because they thought Bell would die.
Law enforcement, including the Miami-Dade Police Department and the County Corrections Department, is investigating how the inmate obtained the cup.