A group of about 20 students from Grossmont High School witnessed the assault of a defense attorney by the man he was representing. The students were in the downtown courtroom as part of a class field trip.
The defendant allegedly attacked his attorney during a criminal trial in San Diego Superior Court, slashing him on the cheek with a razor he apparently had smuggled into the courtroom, authorities said.
The attacked happened at 10:22 a.m. while a prosecution rebuttal witness was on the stand in the trial of three men accused in a prison assault.
As the witness testified in front of the jury, one of the defendants, 32-year-old Eduardo Macias, allegedly slashed defense attorney William Burgener across the lower cheek.
Medics took Burgener out of the courthouse on a gurney, his face wrapped in a bandage. Superior Court Judge Peter Deddeh said Burgener needed stitches to close the wound.
Deddeh told the jury to return tomorrow morning, saying he needed to meet with attorneys in the case and decide whether to declare a mistrial or proceed with closing arguments.
According to U-T San Diego, the students were removed from the courtroom and questioned by deputies in another part of the courthouse. The report said that Macias is one of three defendants in the case, along with Geronimo Polina, 35, and Lionel Quinteros, 26. All three are charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon by a prisoner and conspiracy, according to court records.
Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.
–City News Service contributed to this story.