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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Defendant Invokes Morning Constitutional to Obtain New Trial Lawyer

A mistrial was declared Monday when a home-invasion robbery suspect smeared human feces on his attorney's face then threw more at the jury.

Weusi McGowan, 37, was upset because San Diego Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Fraser refused to remove Deputy Alternate Public Defender Jeffrey Martin from the case, prosecutor Christopher Lawson said.

At the mid-morning break, McGowan produced a plastic baggie filled with fecal matter and spread it on Martin's hair and face, then flung the excrement toward the jury box, hitting the briefcase of juror No. 9 but missing the juror himself.

"That juror didn't even see it coming," Lawson said.

The prosecutor said the defendant was compliant after the outburst and was taken into custody without further incident.

After lunch, Fraser dismissed the jury, telling them McGowan would have to get a new lawyer and that his trial would be delayed.

The judge scheduled a status conference for Feb. 9 and raised the defendant's bail from $250,000 to $1 million, finding he is a danger to the community.

Read full article here. [Brooks Holland]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2009/01/defendant-invok.html

Criminal Law, News, Trials | Permalink

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