It happened on Friday this week, as Kansas resident Daquantrius S. Johnson was facing trial over a 2014 charge of firearm possession, criminal discharge of a firearm and aggravated assault. However, Johnson’s felony convictions were thrown out after the judge presiding over the trial nodded off during the proceedings. On Friday, the Kansas Court of Appeals ordered a new trial, saying Johnson was entitled to a fair trial, due to the fact that Sedgwick County District Judge Ben Burgess apparently got bored during court testimony and fell asleep on the bench.

As reported by The Kansas City Star, the court ruled that they could see no other option than granting the defendant a new trial, due to the situation.

One of the jurors spotted the district court judge nodding off on the bench

Reportedly it was one of the jurors in the matter who first noticed that the judge had fallen asleep and immediately told the court’s bailiff. Reportedly the juror was asking the bailiff whether, in the circumstances, Johnson was going to receive a fair trial. The bailiff then spoke to the judge (apparently waking him up in the process), who later addressed the jury.

Reportedly Judge Burgess informed the jury that their job is to try the facts, but that it was his job to decide what evidence they would hear and what instructions they would receive during the trial.

He said that he didn’t believe any objections had been raised during the course of the trial that would need his attention and would have to make rulings on, or that would have been affected by the fact that he fell asleep on duty.

Johnson’s attorney was asked if he wanted a mistrial

Reportedly Judge Burgess then asked the attorney acting for Johnson if he would like to request a mistrial but said attorney apparently declined to accept that offer.

However, despite this decision by his attorney, Johnson was reportedly able to raise the issue on appeal. Fox News reports that the Associated Press had tried to contact Burgess for comment, but their message did not immediately receive a response.

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