September 15, 2011 (CROWN POINT, Ind.) --
The state appeals court says a northwestern Indiana judge went too far in ordering a bailiff to cover a man's mouth to stop him from talking during his trial. The appeals court ordered a new trial for 30-year-old Kenneth Vaughn of Gary on charges he robbed a Merrillville bank. The Times of Munster reports that Vaughn was testifying during his 2008 trial when he began questioning his attorney's strategy and kept doing so even after the judge said "stop" three times.
With the jury watching, the judge ordered the bailiff to put his hand over Vaughn's mouth.
The court's 2-1 majority says that the judge should've granted the defense's request for a mistrial because it prejudiced the jury. The dissenting judge said Vaughn was trying to cause a mistrial.