No signs that federal inmate shot and killed was a risk

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Most are supporting the actions of a U.S. Marshal who opened fire on a defendant who allegedly attacked a witness in federal court Monday.
The defendant, Siala Angilau was shot multiple times and later died.

“I hope that we don't over react to what happened yesterday,” says attorney Greg Skordas who has defended clients in federal court.

Angilau was on trial on gang related charges when the incident happened.

“Sometimes something like this happens and the Marshals were there to take care of it,” says Skordas. “The Marshals were there to act absolutely appropriately, it sounds like.”

Authorities say Angilau was a known gang member. He was housed in a maximum security area of the Utah State Prison. Three years ago during a parole hearing he was asked about being placed in a secure area of prison.

Angilau: "They never explained to me why I was over there. They just put me over there and I've been there ever since.”
Hearing officer: “Aren't you in a criminal gang? Or have been?”
Angilau: “That's what they say, yeah.”

Angilau was dressed in street clothes Monday. He wasn't handcuffed or shackled.

“In order to present a fair trial, in order for a defense attorney to have your client on equal footing as everyone in that courtroom we want them to be dressed just as the rest of us and not shackled,” says Skordas.

During his 2011 parole hearing, Angilau claimed to be on good behavior.
Hearing officer: “Have you been involved in any write ups or problems or assaults within the facility?”
Angilau: “I have no write ups or anything or any kind of discipline or anything.”

Prison records indicate there was nothing glaring in Angilau's behavior that made him dangerous. According to the Department of Corrections these violations were on his record while in prison:
-February 2014: Guilty, intoxicant/controlled substance;October
-2013: Guilty, intoxicant/controlled substance;
-August 2013: Guilty, intoxicant/controlled substance
-May 2013: Guilty, intoxicant/controlled substance
-February 2012: Guilty of "fighting/threats/horseplay

Again during his 2011 parole hearing, Angilau claimed to be on good behavior.
Those in charge of the federal courthouse wouldn't comment about security. In a written statement the U.S. Marshals Service said: “We aren’t at liberty to disclose details about operational security and other measures used to protect the judicial process for specific cases.”
And those who one day could serve on a jury aren't worried about security at the federal courthouse.

"I don't think it would make me nervous,” says Jeannie Nester. “I could see how it would make others nervous. But the way the Marshal handled it and with his training, I wouldn't feel intimated.”

Attorney Greg Skordas says he has always felt safe working inside the federal courtroom and it hasn’t changed despite what happened Monday.

“The system works,” he says. “I've practiced for 32 years. What happened yesterday is extremely rare.”

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