knife

LEHIGH TWP., Pa. | An Easton woman is facing weapons charges after authorities said she stabbed herself with a kitchen knife that she brought into a district judge’s office in Northampton County.

The Northampton County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that Sonsorrae Barrett faces charges in connection with the Feb. 11 incident inside District Judge Robert Hawke’s Lehigh Township courtroom. The 59-year-old faces single misdemeanor counts of weapons possession and obstructing the administration of law.

Barrett was at Hawke’s office the morning of Feb. 11 for a preliminary hearing on DUI and vehicular aggravated assault charges. The judge increased her bail from $25,000 to $75,000 with a 10 percent cash option, citing a violation of her original bail conditions, according to the district attorney’s office.

After the judge increased her bail, Barrett reportedly screamed, “I’m not going to jail.” That’s when Lehigh Township police officers saw a constable trying to restrain her and spotted a kitchen knife with a roughly 7-inch blade on the floor.

Barrett had allegedly twice stabbed herself in the abdomen. Authorities rendered first aid, and she was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest for treatment.

Police reviewed a video recording of the hearing, which allegedly showed Barrett removing something from her shirt and walking toward the exit. She’s then seen turning around and thrusting the knife into her abdomen before falling backward.

Signs are posted in the offices of district judges noting that the possession of firearms or other weapons is prohibited.

“This situation could have resulted in a far worse outcome,” Northampton County District Attorney Terence Houck said in a prepared statement. “We need to use this incident as a wakeup call for our constables and sheriffs to remain vigilant to the possibility of weapons illegally entering our county and state facilities.”

Hawke arraigned Barrett on the newest charges Thursday afternoon, setting bail at $8,000 with a 10 percent cash option. In the DUI case, Barrett had been released from custody before her preliminary hearing after someone posted $2,500 cash bail on her behalf.

A county judge has since lowered bail to the original $25,000 with a 10 percent cash option.

It was not immediately clear whether Barrett was in custody late Thursday afternoon. She is tentatively scheduled for a March 11 preliminary hearing on the latest charges.

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