Claude Hudson, 80, Gets 12 Years In Prison For Approaching Elizabeth Smart With A Knife, Punching A Cop

Claude F. Hudson is an 80-year-old man who is facing 12 years in prison. Hudson was convicted after acting as his own lawyer in court, wherein Claude told the judge that in spite of battering a cop at an Elizabeth Smart book signing at Indiana State University in the Heritage Lounge at Tirey Hall, he didn’t think he belonged in prison. Elizabeth can be seen in the above photo, with Smart speaking at a news conference in Sandy, Utah. Smart was abducted as a 14-year-old from her Salt Lake City home in 2002, and now speaks as a victims’ advocate.

“I don’t think I should be locked up at all, your honor.”

As reported by the Terre Haute Tribune Star, Claude attacked Indiana State University Police Captain Ian Loomis, when Loomis prevented Claude from approaching Smart with a knife. Claude had displayed odd behavior at the signing, and opened and closed the knife. Hudson has a long history of criminal activity, going all the way back to 1960. Hudson was convicted in 1991 for attempted murder in Nevada, and has spent much of his life in prison. Judge Michael Rader sentenced Hudson, who had been called a danger to society, 12 years in prison. Judge Rader said that Hudson attempts to blame his behavior on others and does not take responsibility for his actions. Hudson claimed he would appeal his sentence.

Elizabeth Smart
[Image by Vigo County Sheriff's Office /AP Images]

Hudson approached Smart with the knife in his pocket, but when Loomis attempted to stop Hudson from approaching Elizabeth, Claude hit Loomis twice in his midsection, and Loomis was able to get Claude out of the room. Loomis was the sole on-duty officer at the book signing.

Hudson was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation by the judge, according to the Tribune Star. Smart was made aware of Claude’s actions, but Elizabeth was not harmed by Hudson. Claude’s court ramblings were described as outspoken, as Hudson insisted on representing himself.


According to the Associated Press, Hudson claimed that he wanted to ask Elizabeth questions, and that’s why Claude said he tried to skip ahead in line that January day. However, Loomis is being hailed as a hero for noticing Claude’s odd behavior at the book signing at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, and for preventing any injuries to Smart.

[Featured Image by Rick Bowmer/AP Images]