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Man cuts own throat and dies after verdict given in North Dakota courtroom

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Posted at 11:43 AM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 16:13:59-04

FARGO, N.D. — A man on trial in North Dakota slashed his own throat and died in a federal courtroom after a jury returned a partial guilty verdict, according to multiple reports.

U.S. Marshal Dallas Carlson confirmed with The Associated Press and KVLY that the incident happened Monday afternoon.

Carlson told the news outlets that the U.S. district judge, courtroom staff, and others witnessed the incident, but the jury was not in the room.

A witness told KVLY that the incident was “extremely traumatizing.”

"He was fidgeting with his neck with his left hand and then all of a sudden he turns around and you can see the inside of his neck. There was blood squirting out of his neck," the witness told the TV station.

As she was ushered out of the courtroom, the witness said she could hear the man screaming that he couldn’t breathe.

Life-saving measures were attempted in the courtroom, but he was later pronounced dead.

KVLY has identified the man who took his life as 55-year-old Jeffrey Ferris. Court records obtained by the outlet said he was accused of driving a Jeep toward several children last year and allegedly assaulted a person with a handgun.

The man was facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment, terrorizing, and using a firearm in a violent felony, KVLY reports.