CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. – An attorney is speaking out after he received a tongue-lashing and was found in contempt by a judge in Georgia for missing court due to medical reasons.
Matt Tucker is representing a woman who is facing murder charges for shooting and killing a man while attempting to make a citizen’s arrest after a hit-and-run in 2019, WSB-TV reported.
Jury selection in the murder trial was scheduled for Monday, but Tucker suffered a stroke on Saturday and was unable to make it to court, WSB-TV reported.
“You seriously need to seek new counsel,” Clayton County Judge Shana Rooks Malone said in court to Tucker’s client. “He’s doing you a disservice because you’ve been here. We’re ready to start a trial today.”
Tucker spoke to WSB-TV’s Tom Jones, and said he was stunned.
“I was astonished. I couldn’t believe it,” Tucker said. “She kind of made me look real bad on TV.”
The trial is being broadcast by Court TV.
Tucker’s client told the judge that her attorney had suffered a stroke and was in the hospital, but the judge said that Tucker never contacted her office. Tucker told WSB-TV that his office emailed the court to tell staff he had a medical emergency.
Malone said she would hold Tucker in contempt of court because of his “behavior.”
“I’ve never lied to the court,” Tucker told WSB-TV. “I’m an officer of the court. It’s not a disservice. We’ve been waiting on this trial for three years.”
Tucker told WSB-TV that he is concerned his client may not get a fair trial, and may file a motion to remove the judge from the case.
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