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Defendant strapped to chair in court

Dec. 7, 2012 at 9:29 AM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A Chicago judge ordered a robbery suspect strapped into a chair after repeated outbursts in the courtroom and requests to be excused from his trial.

Joseph "Jose" Banks -- alleged to be the "Second-Hand Bandit" known for wearing used clothing -- is accused of robbing two banks and attempting to hold up two others, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer told Banks Thursday that because he fired his attorneys and was representing himself, he couldn't leave the courtroom while evidence was being presented. He eventually agreed to sit still and was unstrapped from his chair.

"They got Tasers. I can't go nowhere," he said when asked if he could remain still.

Banks filed a motion challenging the court's jurisdiction over him because of his identification with the so-called sovereign citizen movement, the Tribune reported.

"I've been brought on trumped-up charges of hearsay," he said, adding that he objects to everything, "past, present and future."

Federal prosecutors showed the jury video footage of the holdup of a North Side Citibank in December 2007. The robber can be seen jumping bank counters and ordering bank employees to open vaults and ATMs as he wielded a handgun.

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