Court orders new Kansas trial, citing judge’s sleepiness

Daquantrius Johnson was sentenced Monday for stealing a wedding ring from a dying woman. (KSN Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas appellate court says a man convicted of assault and weapons charges deserves a new trial because his trial judge fell asleep during testimony.

The Kansas City Star reports the Kansas Court of Appeals on Friday threw out Daquantrius Johnson’s 2014 convictions.

According to the ruling, a juror noticed that Sedgwick County District Judge Ben Burgess had fallen asleep and asked a bailiff whether Johnson could get a fair trial. The bailiff passed that comment on to Burgess, who later told jurors they alone would decide the case and that no attorneys indicated his nodding off affected his decisions.

Burgess asked Johnson’s attorney if he wanted to request a mistrial. That lawyer declined.

A message Friday with Burgess by The Associated Press wasn’t immediately returned.