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Salt Lake's 'Borg' Courthouse Debuts with a Shooting

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

The "Borg Cube," as the locals like to call it, opened one week ago. Today was the first trial in the new courthouse. Lets hope the rest of the trials go more smoothly than this one.

During the last of a series of trials for alleged Tongan Crips members, defendant Siale Angilau, 25, allegedly grabbed a pen or pencil and tried to charge the stand. A U.S. Marshall shot him multiple times in the chest. He was removed from the building on a stretcher, in critical condition, while the brand new courthouse is expected to be locked down until Monday afternoon, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Does This Count as a Mistrial?

According to the Tribune, Angilau's trial was the last in a series stemming from a 2010 indictment of 17 TCG members and associates. Prosecutors allege that the gang's criminal acts, including robberies, assaults, shootings, and murders, stretched over two decades. The trial was being conducted in front of a full jury.

The witness, by the way, was not injured in the fracas. The court quickly declared a mistrial, noting in its order that the jurors were shaken by the incident and were set for interviews with law enforcement officers.

Ugly Courthouse

The setting of the shooting, Salt Lake City's brand new courthouse, was already making headlines before today for its "unique" and "modernist" look. According to the Tribune, the response of the general public has been nearly unanimously negative, while the architectural community has hailed the large cube-like structure as a success.

The most repeated description of the new courthouse, amongst the public, is yes, to a Borg cube. The Borg is a fictional villainous race from the Star Trek universe, whose utilitarian and dystopian ships are typically cube-shaped. A recent poll by the Tribune had the new courthouse coming in second to a neon-trimmed abomination as the second most ugly building in the city.

Architects, meanwhile, praise the building as something different than the rest of the city's largely generic skyline. Different, of course, is not always good, and none of the architects interviewed by the Tribune would label the building "pretty." Their appreciation seems to be more intellectual and academic than aesthetic.

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