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Maldonado trial cut short Monday by attorney’s illness

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Sep. 10, 2007 at 2:16 pm with No Comments »
September 10, 2007 2:16 pm

Here are a few behind-the-scenes insights in the Tacoma Mall shooting trial:

Defense attorney under the weather

Veteran defense attorney Keith MacFie asked Superior Court judge Linda Lee on Monday to temporarily suspend Dominick Maldonado’s trial.

MacFie, who came to court looking haggard, told Lee he came down with an illness of some kind Sunday and was feeling too weak to work past the lunch hour.

“I’ve taken about every cold medicine available, and nothing,” MacFie said.

Deputy prosecutor Phil Sorensen said he didn’t have a problem suspending the trial for the afternoon so MacFie could get some rest.

“We want Mr. MacFie at 100 percent,” Sorensen said.

Lee later granted MacFie’s request.

“I’m sorry, your honor,” MacFie said.

Lee told him not to apologize.

“We can’t control the bugs,” she said.

Trial speeding along

Sorensen informed Lee that the state may be ready to rest its case the week of Sept. 24, way ahead of schedule. Prosecutors originally predicted they’d be calling witnesses into October.

The speedy pace is being helped by the fact that MacFie is not cross examining many of the witnesses.

No one disputes Maldonado shot up the mall Nov. 20, 2005. The real arguments are over his motivations and intents. That stuff isn’t likely to come out in full force until the defense begins its case.

Quote of the day

“‘My whole life I’ve been hurt.’ I do remember him saying that.” Witness Mariah Lechowicz, a friend of Maldonado’s, testifying about what Maldonado told her during a telephone call from Sam Goody, where he held hostages after the shooting.

Coming up

On Tuesday, assuming MacFie is well enough, prosecutors expect to call to the witness stand some of the people held hostage at Sam Goody.

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