Video: Arizona Defendant Punches Lawyer in the Face after Being Ordered out of Courtroom, Was on Trial for Biting Corrections Officer

Newly-released footage from inside an Arizona courtroom shows the moment a public defender was punched in the face by his own client during a jury selection.

Attorney Vladimir Gagic had been appointed to represent suspect Lamont Payne during his appearance in the Maricopa County Superior Court last year after being accused of biting a Fourth Avenue Jail corrections officer in the ankle back in 2016, ABC 15 reported.

In the video clip showing the courtroom confrontation, Payne is seen punching his lawyer in the face with his right hand after the judge ordered him to be removed from the proceedings.

Just prior to the outburst, the defendant complained that Gagic was failing to represent him properly. "My lawyer ain't going to speak up it's plain and simple… I have been giving him questions he is not going to speak up," Payne said after passing him a piece of paper. The lawyer did not appear to respond as the defendant loudly tapped on the table.

Gagic told AZFamily, which published the footage to YouTube, Payne was "rolling his eyes and making a scene" in the courtroom and "being a troublemaker" before he lashed out.

The attorney, who suffered a bloody nose and face swelling, said: "I remember checking my teeth and then realizing they're all there. I didn't feel like pain or anything like that. It was just salty because you're tasting somebody's skin. It's kind of gross, but that's what I remember."

The 2016 incident occurred after a corrections officer tried to remove him from a cell. Maricopa County clerk records indicate Payne has a lengthy criminal history. After his outburst last year, he is no longer allowed to appear at hearings in person, only remotely via video link.

Speaking to ABC 15, Gagic fumed the incident had a negative impact on his own contract with the Public Defense Services (PDS), which was suspended about a month after the incident.

"They suspended me from the contract. They never told me why, it's because they're cowards," he said. Gagic said he was paid for hours spent preparing for the trial but alleged he was asked by PDS to return the $1,000 he was paid to represent Payne.

"Mr. Gagic's contract was placed on temporary hold after multiple complaints about his lack of communication with clients, another attorney, and PDS," Maricopa County law officials told ABC 15 when asked about the ongoing contract situation.

"A contract might be placed on temporary hold if there are complaints from clients or family members, the attorney provides poor representation, or they are carrying too many cases." In response, Gagic claimed that he was now planning to sue the county authorities.