Judge dismisses case, rips prosecutor for wasting tax dollars
A Clark County District Court judge ripped an assistant Vancouver city attorney Thursday for wasting taxpayer money on a trial when he knew there was a good chance the key witness wouldn’t show up to testify.
Judge Darvin Zimmerman said jury trials cost $1,000 a day. He dismissed the charge “with prejudice,” meaning the case can’t be refiled.
Defense attorney Allison Widney’s client was charged with malicious mischief in the third degree for allegedly punching a window out of her parents’ home. Her father was listed as the victim, and before the trial he refused to be interviewed by either the prosecution or the defense.
The morning started with the assistant city attorney telling the judge that the father hadn’t shown up. He asked Zimmerman to dismiss “without prejudice,” meaning the city would have been able to refile charges.
Zimmerman refused. He told the city attorney that he wasted time and money by going forward with a trial when he knew there was a very good chance that the alleged victim wouldn’t show up. Zimmerman said he would go ahead and impanel a jury.
Once a jury has been seated, “jeopardy” attaches and, as any fan of the 1999 Ashley Judd film, “Double Jeopardy” knows, a person can’t be tried twice for the same crime.
Jurors were selected, then Zimmerman dismissed the case.