Hamilton murder suspect removed from court during hearing with sixth attorney

Toby Madden, who is accused of stabbing his longtime girlfriend to death in 2022 at their Hamilton home, has been vocal and disruptive in court for months about his series of attorneys and the judge. This week, he went a step too far and was removed from the courtroom.

Madden’s trial, which was set to begin in January, was cancelled after he allegedly made threats to assault his fifth attorney, Brad Kraemer, who requested to withdraw from the case, like others before. Madden was back in Judge Jennifer McElfresh’s court Wednesday with his sixth attorney to set a new trial date.

After a loud discussion with new attorney Lucas Wilder before court, Madden shouted as the hearing started.

“This guy here,” Madden shouted from the jury box, where he was seated due to security concerns. He was apparently making reference to Wilder. Madden yelled about a motion he tried to file in January.

McElfresh said, “OK, I am going to remove you from the courtroom if you don’t behave.”

The shouting continued and the judge said, “You can leave.” Deputies then struggled a bit to get him out of the courtroom.

“For the record, Mr. Madden was disruptive as he has been in the past,” McElfresh said. Because the hearing was for scheduling purposes only, McElfresh said she chose to remove him from the courtroom and proceed without him hearing or watching.

The judge then set a hearing for May 28 for a motion to suppress evidence filed by the defense and a new trial date for Sept. 23.

McElfresh said a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence is a “critical” element in the judicial process, and if Madden’s behavior continues to be the same as it has been, Madden will be removed from the courtroom and taken to the fourth floor of the court wing. Then, the hearing will be conducted by video and his attorney will be able to communicate with him if needed.

Wilder also wanted to inform the court about his most recent communication with Madden since his appointment the end of January.

“I have met with Mr. Madden twice. He actually came out to see me. One of those times I did have my computer with discovery. He did not want to review it,” Wilder said, adding he also provided a copy of discovery, which Madden would not take from him.

When Wilder when to the Butler County Jail on March 20, Madden refused to meet with him at all, he told the judge.

The 51-year-old is charged with murder and felonious assault in the death of Rachelle Brewsbaugh at their Parrish Avenue house. Brewsaugh suffered more than 50 wounds, according to prosecutors.

Because Madden was represented at one point by the county public defender office, a “conflict attorney” not a part of the public defender office had to be appointed. Wilder is from Montgomery County.

McElfresh denied Madden’s request to represent himself after the defendant said multiple times he was being “compelled” to act as his own counsel.

The judge also noted before that prior attorneys had been assigned to Madden’s case, and the defendant had problems with all of them, including one who was hired.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Madden is being held in the Butler County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

About the Author