Okemos man charged with attempted murder, terrorism after courtroom attack

Posted: 12:15 PM, Sep 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-23 08:49:56-04

Just before being convicted of second-degree criminal sexual contact, a man allegedly removed a shank from his sleeve and rushed towards the prosecutor in an attempt to stab him in the head in the middle of an open court room in downtown Lansing in early August.

The man, Joshua Harding, 35, of Okemos, has been charged with four felonies, including attempted murder and terrorism relating to his August courtroom attack on Ingham County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Roth, the Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Thursday.

The charges include:

• Assault To Commit Murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison;
• Terrorism, a felony punishable by up to life in prison; 
• Carrying A Concealed Weapon, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and; 
• Possession of a Weapon in Jail, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

“I am thankful for the quick action of the Ingham County Sheriff Deputies in the courtroom and grateful that Asst. Prosecutor Roth suffered no serious injury,” said Schuette. “Prosecutors like Mr. Roth go to court every day to provide justice for Michigan victims and I am grateful for these men and women who work so hard to see justice is provided.”

On Sept. 22, Harding was charged as a habitual offender in Ingham County Circuit Court. He is currently in Ingham County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Harding was sentenced to at least 19 years in prison on Sept. 21, on the Ingham County Criminal Sexual Conduct charge when he was in court for at the time of the attack, the release states.

According to the General Attorney’s Office, the statue for a charge on terrorism states that if a defendant commits a violent felony while intending to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or affect the conduct of government a terrorism charge may be applied.