Woke LA judge Daniel Lowenthal declares mistrial for armed robber because he didn't get enough SLEEP IN JAIL
Vamazae Elgin Banks appeared in court for terrorizing a McDonald’s cashier with a gun and robbing less than $100
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A woke Los Angeles judge hailing from a powerful Democratic family has declared mistrial in the case of an ex-con facing life imprisonment for robbing a McDonald's cashier at gunpoint. The mistrial was declared by the Los Angeles Superior Court Jurist Daniel Lowenthal, who believed the defendant was not getting any sleep in jail.
The judge's Democratic Congressman father endorsed the city’s embattled top prosecutor George Gascón on Wednesday, September 7. The alleged criminal identified as Vamazae Elgin Banks, 24, appeared in court for terrorizing a McDonald’s cashier with a gun and stealing less than $100.
"Hurry up or I’ll blow your brains out!" Banks allegedly told the cashier of McDonald’s on E 4th St in Long Beach, court records show. However, he walked out of the fast-food joint with less than $100 in his hand. Banks is facing life imprisonment if he gets convicted of three counts of robbery and one account of assault with a semi-automatic firearm for the crime under California’s three-strikes sentencing laws.
Defending his client, Banks’ attorney Alan Nakasone said his client was unable to take notes as he was sleep deprived because he was put in a cell with no blanket and bed to sleep in. Despite his long criminal history and two prior violent robbery convictions, the argument presented by Nakasone was enough for Judge Lowenthal to make a mistrial ruling.
But Deputy District Attorney Tricia Halstead challenged Nakasone’s argument and asked the judge if he really saw Banks nodding his head on the table. "Did he fall asleep?" she asked him. "Did Your Honor see him fall asleep?" Lowenthal deferred the question to Nakasone, who said, "My client was nodding."
With Nakasone’s answer, Lowenthal, who ripped the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for negligence, made a mistrial ruling, saying, "Essentially this Court has lost complete confidence in the Sheriff Department’s ability to provide proper housing arrangements, a mistrial is declared." Trials like these typically cost the judicial system between $600-$1,300.
The mistrial ruling made by Lowenthal was questioned by many legal experts, including Anthony Falangetti, who called it highly unusual. "In my 27 years of experience I have not seen a mistrial declared because a defendant who was in the trial was deprived of the ability to sleep," Falangetti, who worked as a Los Angeles County prosecutor for 14 years before becoming a criminal defense lawyer, told FOX NEWS. He further added that Lowenthal was clearly trying to express his frustration with the sheriff department's negligence.
Banks, who is being held on a $1.18 million bond, is due back in court for a new trial on September 13.