SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A man charged with killing two Northern California sheriff's deputies stunned a courtroom Wednesday by blurting out that he committed the crimes and is ready to be executed.
"I did kill those cops. You can execute me whenever you're ready," an agitated Luis Enrique Monroy Bracamontes said at the end of a hearing as he was led from the Sacramento County courtroom in chains.
Earlier, during a break, Monroy Bracamontes repeatedly told his lawyers he wanted to plead guilty.
"You don't have the right to plead guilty without our consent," Assistant Public Defender Jeffrey Barbour told him quietly while the judge waited. They later blamed his outbursts on anxiety.
Norm Dawson, another of his attorneys, told Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White, "We're not at this time prepared to enter a plea."
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the Utah man, who is charged with killing two deputies during an hourslong rampage in October that also left a motorist and another deputy wounded.
His wife, Janelle Marquez Monroy, also is charged but does not face the death penalty. She sat quietly during the 20-minute proceeding, sometimes resting her chin on a fist.
"I think what you were hearing was a great deal of anxiety," Dawson said outside the courtroom when asked about his client's outbursts.
But Monroy Bracamontes was adamant, turning his head to address spectators as he was being handcuffed to leave the courtroom.
"I killed, I did, I did. I just want to plead guilty and get the execution," he said as his attorneys stood nearby amid heavy security. "I did it, everything."
A spokeswoman for the Sacramento County District Attorneys' Office, Shelly Orio, said she was prohibited from commenting because it would violate legal ethics.
Bracamontes and his wife both are charged with murder, along with numerous other charges, in the slayings of Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriff's Detective Michael Davis Jr.
Monroy Bracamontes is a Mexican national with a long criminal history who had been deported several times and was in the country illegally at the time of the slayings.
Most of the court proceeding itself revolved around a request by attorneys for both suspects to exclude reporters from the courtroom to prevent news media accounts from influencing prospective jurors.
White denied the request. But he barred all still and video photographs, and prohibited audio recordings from being aired or published. He did allow a sketch artist to make portraits.
The suspects are next due back in court March 27 for a status conference.