On April, 04, 2014, one of Attorney Brent Sumner's recent cases was featured in the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an article entitled, "McClellan: Seeking justice in an untucked shirt."
The article began by explaining how even though the jury had not come back from a break, Defense Attorneys, Brent Sumner and Adam Olszeski told Judge Mark Neill that our client would be taking the stand.
This is the point in criminal trials where judges lecture the defendant, explaining that they may testify, but they don't have to. If they choose not to testify, jurors will be instructed not to make any inference about the suspect's guilt or innocence from that decision.
As Judge Neill began explaining things to our client, he stopped. "Look at you!" he said. "Your shirt is not even tucked in!"
Our client was wearing a gray shirt that was dressier than a T-shirt. It had a collar and no pocket, but as the judge pointed out, it was not tucked in. We proceeded to take our client into the hallway, where he tucked in his shirt.
Later on, the author of the article, Bill McClellan spoke with the judge who acknowledged that society had embraced informality. He said that he could remember when people dressed up to go to hockey games, and there was a time when men wore suits and ties to baseball games.
Neill, when speaking to McClellan, recalled a drug case from his days as a
criminal defense attorney when his client showed up to court wearing a bright green outfit looking like a leprechaun.
When McClellan referred back to Sumner's case, he said that he doesn't believe that the defendant's attire mattered too much. Our client in the gray shirt was charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
Our client told the jury that he was having an argument with his woman, when in actuality she was having an argument with him. She had a question over someone that he had friended on Facebook.
Our client's woman wanted to talk about their relationship, but he didn't want to. She threw some dishes and punched him. Our client called the police, then she called the police and told them he was waving a gun in her face.
Our client then took some of his clothes and his legally purchased gun out of the closet and packed it into a backpack and left the house. A police officer arrived on the scene, found our client's gun in the backpack and arrested him.
Our client had a job and no criminal history.
Our final witness was the woman, who said that she made the story up about the gun. She wanted to talk to our client about their relationship and he ignored her and she got really angry. She said that she wanted to hurt him the way he had hurt her. She also said that after she left the house, she tried to run our client down with her car. The woman was not dressed up for court, she was wearing blue jeans.
After the jury deliberated, they came back with a Not Guilty verdict.
To read the full article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,