Security was heavy Thursday as a New Cassel man with a lengthy criminal record was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on charges of killing another New Cassel man this past weekend.
The tense arraignment of Naqunne L. Jackson, 29, came only a few days after another arraignment in the same courtroom turned into a melee in which two court officers were injured and six people were arrested.
Judge Eric Bjorneby adjourned all other cases in his courtroom at 12:30 p.m. Thursday and told about 50 people remaining for the Jackson arraignment that they would be arrested if they did not remain seated and silent throughout.
Six court officers from the Special Response Team stood down the center aisle of the audience section, and about two dozen other court officers were in the courtroom.
The judge ordered Jackson held without bail after Assistant District Attorney Theresa Tebbett said Jackson had nine prior arrests, two felony convictions, four misdemeanor convictions and a parole violation.
Jackson was represented by the Legal Aid Society, which does not comment on its cases.
Jackson was accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of William Moody, 31, on Sunday. Neither prosecutors nor police would give a motive for the killing.
None of the people at Jackson's arraignment would speak to a Newsday reporter as they left the courtroom. At least six uniformed Nassau County police officers and several Village of Hempstead officers were stationed outside the courthouse.
A court officer at the scene said there had been a warning from an undisclosed source that there might be trouble between friends or the families of Jackson and the victim at Thursday's court appearance, but there were no incidents.
Court spokesman Daniel Bagnuola later released a statement saying: "Although we do not publicly discuss security operations, ensuring the safety of the public and staff is paramount. Security measures are routinely implemented to provide the highest level of security for the public, litigants, and court personnel."
With John Valenti