A Georgia lawyer has been held in contempt of court docket after he didn’t seem for a consumer’s trial — though he instructed the decide that he was hospitalized whereas recovering from a stroke.
Matthew Tucker, of Clayton County, was scheduled to start jury choice for his consumer, Hannah Payne, on Monday, Nov. 14, Channel 2 reported. Payne, 24, faces homicide prices stemming from a deadly capturing following a hit-and-run in 2019.
Monday’s televised proceedings have been delayed, nonetheless, after Tucker suffered a stroke over the weekend and was hospitalized. Decide Shana Rooks Malone was irritated by Tucker’s failure to seem, and instructed Payne that she was holding her lawyer in contempt because of his “conduct.”
“I can not go ahead with the trial in the present day as a result of Ms. Payne shouldn’t be represented, however what I’ll inform you Ms. Payne is you must significantly search new counsel,” Malone stated.
Decide Malone expressed doubts that Tucker truly suffered a medical emergency, citing an alleged historical past of absences.
“This isn’t the primary time I’ve had a problem with him failing to return and are available on time,” the decide stated. “He’s doing you a disservice since you’ve been right here. You might have a proper to counsel who’s going to be diligently representing and advocating on you zealously, and he has not been doing that.”
Decide Shana Rooks Malone held Tucker in contempt of court docket.YouTube/WSB-TV
Chatting with Channel 2’s Tom Jones on Thursday, Tucker, who stays hospitalized, stated he was “astonished” by Malone’s statements in entrance of each his consumer and people watching the proceedings at residence.
“I couldn’t imagine it,” he stated. “She type of made me look actual dangerous on TV.”
Tucker claims his workplace emailed the court docket about his medical scenario previous to Monday’s scheduled look, and that Payne additionally relayed the knowledge to the decide in court docket.
“I’ve by no means lied to the court docket,” Tucker instructed Jones. “I’m an officer of the court docket. It’s not a disservice. We’ve been ready on this trial for 3 years.”
Tucker has represented Payne since shortly after Could 7, 2019, when she shot and killed Kenneth Herring, 62, in what she claims was self-defense whereas making an attempt to make a residents arrest after the person ran a crimson mild and collided with a truck. He’s now involved she is not going to obtain a good trial, and is contemplating submitting to take away Decide Malone from the case.
Decide Shana Rooks Malone’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to The Publish’s request for a touch upon the incident.