Trials & Litigation
Judge Saves Her Vacation by Putting Jury to Work at 3 a.m.
Posted Feb 8, 2011 12:15 PM CST
By Martha Neil
When a murder trial last year that was expected to take four weeks continued nearly two weeks longer, putting a Nevada judge's vacation at risk, the judge resolved the problem by having the jury begin deliberations at 3 a.m.
Clark County District Court Judge Valorie Vega also criticized attorneys on the case for not getting it completed sooner, without mentioning that she herself had taken off early on six occasions during the trial to attend her daughter's soccer games, KLAS-TV reports.
Although the defendant, Victor Fakoya, was acquitted, his defense lawyers weren't happy.
"I felt bad for the jurors, I felt bad for our client. It was a tough situation," says one of them, Adrian Lobo.
The judge says in a written statement that she typically works more than a 40-hour week and "took prearranged leave that was agreed upon by all parties" in during the Fakoya trial, the station reports. Vega also said that she takes her job as a public servant very seriously and has always met her obligations to the citizens of the county.
Representatives of the district court and state supreme court say they don't supervise judges' day-to-day schedules. And state assemblyman William Horne, who serves as the Assembly Judiciary Committee chair, says judges are free to take off time during the work day so long as they're getting the job done properly.