A Georgia man — whose extraordinarily vulgar courtroom exchange with a judge was immortalized by the hit TV show “Rick and Morty” — has pleaded guilty but mentally ill to killing his cellmate.
Denver Fenton Allen, 33, pleaded guilty Monday after Judge Billy Sparks denied Allen’s motion that he killed Stephen Rudolph Nalley in self-defense after just five days in the Floyd County Jail, the Rome News-Tribune reports.
Allen — who suffers from delusions and schizophrenia, according to a state evaluation that still found him fit for trial — was sentenced to life in prison Monday, prompting him to threaten to kill people in the courtroom, including the assistant district attorney.
In June 2016, Allen made national headlines for an obscene, 11-minute exchange with Superior Court Judge Bryant Durham in which Allen threatened to kill the judge’s family and made repeated graphic sexual threats.
Allen claimed his court-appointed attorney had made unwanted sexual advances toward him and was inadequately prepared. Durham said he doubted those claims and recommended that Allen go to trial with the attorney rather than represent himself, prompting Allen’s incredibly crude tirade.
The exchange captured in the court transcript descended from there, with Durham finding Allen in contempt of court. Here’s a snippet:
Allen: I don’t care.
Durham: I know you don’t. And I sentence you to 20 days for that. And if you say anything else, I’m going to add 20 days for everything you say.
Allen: F–k you.
Durham: Forty days.
Allen: F–k you again.
Allen: Go f–k yourself.
Durham: A year.
Allen: Your mama.
Durham: Ten years.
“You know something, this is going to be an interesting trial,” Durham said. “You know something? You’re absolutely the rudest person I think I’ve ever met!”
Durham later recused himself from the case and issued a public apology for his role in the exchange, the Rome-News-Tribune reports.
Assistant District Attorney Luke Martin said Allen targeted his smaller cellmate in an attempt to boost his reputation at the jail.
“He didn’t punch the biggest guy in the room, he waited until Stephen Nalley went to sleep,” Martin said. “And then he bashed Stephen Nalley’s head in … then he went around the jail and bragged about killing his cellmate.”
“He’s a dangerous person,” Martin said Monday. “He needs to be in prison until he dies.”
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