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Criminal Justice

On eighth try, defendant gets a lawyer he likes—the wrestler ‘Apocalypto’

Posted Dec 9, 2013 6:44 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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It took a lawyer who used the name “Apocalypto” in his pro wrestling career to guide defendant Ronald Mackin to a resolution of his criminal case.

Mackin spent $32,000 and went through eight lawyers before he pleaded guilty last week to aggravated battery in the stabbing of a woman, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Originally charged with attempted murder, the Chicago man claimed he was defending himself against a home invader; the woman had said she was the victim of domestic abuse.

According to the Sun-Times, Mackin’s latest lawyer is Thomas Benno, “a colorful defense attorney who, in his spare time, wrestles in masked ‘Lucha Libre’ matches.” Benno was using the name Apocalypto during his matches, according to a 2011 account.

Mackin told a judge in a hearing last month that his previous lawyers had lied to him and the judge wasn’t taking the problem seriously, the story says. Mackin had also filed complaints about some of the past lawyers. But Judge James Linn of Cook County said he knew the lawyers professionally and they were all competent. Linn ordered a psychological exam for Mackin, but the defendant refused to participate.

Mackin also had a few disagreements with Benno. “He fired me three or four times,” Benno told the Sun-Times. “I told [Mackin], ‘Either keep me or you will have to defend yourself.’ We finally got justice. A lot of attorneys would walk away.”

Hat tip to ISBA Daily Legal News.

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