Aug 14, 2015

Defendant charged with decking lawyer in court now faces 2 felony trials in same month

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When Lance Franklin reportedly decked his defense lawyer in front of the jury and other witnesses during a Kansas rape trial last year, the judge refused to declare a mistrial because that would reward Franklin for his bad behavior.

But a subsequent juror medical issue resulted in a mistrial for that reason, so Franklin will be retried in November in the Topeka rape case.

Meanwhile, Franklin is also facing a felony aggravated battery trial later that month in the December 2014 attack on attorney David McDonald, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

In a preliminary hearing, the lawyer testified that he saw a fist just before he was struck in the face but couldn’t see who hit him. As he had returned to the defense table moments earlier, after questioning the accuser in the rape case, McDonald said Franklin told him he hadn’t asked the right questions. At the time of the attack, McDonald was seating himself and had both hands on the arms of his chair, the lawyer said.

Judge Marc Braun, who presided over last year’s rape trial, testified that a corrections specialist pulled Franklin over the bar into the courtroom gallery after the attack on McDonald.

The lawyer said his injuries included bruises, a broken nose that required surgery, chipped teeth and lost vision for approximately one week. He has since moved from Kansas to Oregon.

Braun earlier held Franklin in contempt for his conduct during the Shawnee County District Court trial and sentenced him to 180 days.

The article doesn’t explain whether courtroom security measures have been increased in Franklin’s current cases and, if so, how.

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