Thursday, February 14th 2008, 4:00 AM
Cesar Rodriguez admits he tied stepdaughter Nixzmary Brown to a chair for hours on end - but he couldn't handle a few extra minutes in handcuffs Wednesday.
"Yo, I can't get this off," he bellowed from the cells just off the Brooklyn courtroom where he's on trial for murdering the 7-year-old.
"I know you can hear me," he thundered again, presumably at court officers he felt were slow to respond to his complaint.
His voice was full of anger, in sharp contrast to his calm demeanor on police videotapes when he confessed to using duct tape and twine to tie Nixzmary to a hard wooden chair in a back room for misbehaving.
It startled everyone within earshot.
Fortunately for him, the jury wasn't in the courtroom to hear him rage, shattering the composed image he's projected in the courtroom for the past month.
His lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz explained later that Rodriguez, 29, wasn't feeling well and got upset that the cuffs were left on after he was locked in a cell.
"I guess he was cuffed for about 20 minutes or something, and he was upset about it," Schwartz said. "I guess he felt they weren't treating him well."
Schwartz was allowed to go calm his client, but when Rodriguez was brought into the courtroom he still looked surly and uncharacteristically unkempt.
Court was ultimately canceled for the day because Schwartz had logistical problems getting his first witnesses to show up. He is expected to open his case tomorrow.
Original Article with comments-
In court, Nixzmary's stepfather Cesar Rodriguez whines about being cuffed
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