Lighter Side: Defendant decks his attorney but judge denies mistrial in fear of copycats

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Lance Franklin decided to deck his defense lawyer in front of the jury a few weeks ago during a trial in Kansas.

But instead of declaring a mistrial, as requested by a defense motion, Judge Marc Braun held him in contempt and sentenced him to 180 days in prison, reported ABA Journal.

The judge said that if he agreed with the motion, it would “essentially put a target on any defense attorney’s back” and encourage other defendants to attack their counsel.

Since the beating, the law firm has requested to withdraw from representing Franklin. Two other representatives from the firm had to stand in for the injured lawyer, David McDonald, the next day.

The rape trial was in its fourth day and McDonald had just finished questioning a prosecution witness when Franklin decided to punch him in the head.

Defendant Franklin is 6’3” tall and weighs more than 130kg, according to records. McDonald, several inches shorter, was no match for him.

Due to the punch, the lawyer landed on the floor next to his own chair, unconscious.
Witnesses said McDonald’s head was swollen and bleeding, and he had to be transported to hospital by ambulance. 
  • Paul Stephens on 9/01/2015 11:32:19 AM

    I cant agree with your headline. I don't regard a report of a client violently assaulting his lawyer to be "on the lighter side"

    Good call by the trial judge. Lets hope he is not overturned on appeal.

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