TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A judge has refused to declare a mistrial for a Topeka rape suspect accused of punching his defense attorney in front of jurors.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Shawnee County District Judge Marc Braun also found 32-year-old Lance Franklin to be in contempt of court and sentenced him to 180 days in jail. Franklin’s attorney, David McDonald, was knocked unconscious Thursday. McDonald told the newspaper in a text message that he never saw the punch coming.
McDonald wasn’t in court, but attorneys from his firm argued for a mistrial. The prosecution, however, argued the trial was going badly for Franklin and said he shouldn’t be rewarded by getting a fresh start.
Braun scheduled the trial to continue in February and allowed McDonald’s firm to withdraw from the case.