Criminal Justice

Lawyer admits napping at trial, but rates his performance an 8 or a 9

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A Texas lawyer blamed sleep apnea for his naps during the trial of a drunken driving defendant, but defended his courtroom performance.

Texas lawyer Martin Zimmerman rated his performance in the case of Daniel Textor Jr. an eight or a nine out of 10, the New York Daily News reports, summarizing a story in the San Antonio Express-News (sub. req.). The Express-News has a short summary here.

Zimmerman was questioned in a hearing that ended on Monday. The hearing was scheduled after Textor complained, obtained a new lawyer, and sought a new trial, the Daily News says. “This man has been sleeping through my trial,” Textor complained to the judge during an Aug. 28 court appearance. “This is the same man who didn’t even know my name during… choosing my jury. This man said my name was Jonathan Dextor.”

Textor had been sentenced as a habitual offender to 60 years in prison for spitting on the arm of a police officer and 28 years for driving while intoxicated with a child passenger. During his trial, Zimmerman did not call any witnesses and cross-examined only two of the prosecution witnesses.

Textor said he had accepted a plea deal of 45 years for harassing a public servant and 20 years for DWI, but it was never submitted. Prosecutors reinstated the plea offer, and Textor’s new lawyer accepted it, the story says.

The Express-News notes that Zimmerman is planning on running for a judgeship next year, but he told the newspaper he doesn’t expect his napping to affect the election.

Updated at 9:29 a.m. to include more info from the Express-News.

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