Defendant in defamation case leaves courtroom with chest pains | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Defendant in defamation case leaves courtroom with chest pains

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 11:27 AM

click to enlarge JIM HARRIS: His report of chest pains halt trial. - BENTON COUNIER
  • Benton Counier
  • JIM HARRIS: His report of chest pains halt trial.
This from the federal courthouse in Little Rock, where testimony has been continuing in a lawsuit by David Singer over his firing as an employee of state Treasurer Dennis Milligan.

A witness in the gallery of the courtroom said Milligan Chief of Staff Jim Harris was taken from the courtroom about 10:40 a.m. by EMTs after suffering chest pains. The witness, who asked not to be named, said that at the time of the incident, Milligan's executive assistant Holly Beaver was on the stand, testifying as to whether she thought Harris was an honest man. 

Singer contends he was defamed by an e-mail written about him by Harris that questioned his mental stability. Harris said he hadn't meant for the e-mail to be made public, though he'd shown it to a KATV reporter. Milligan has testified Singer was fired for poor performance.

We're attempting to find out more about Harris' condition. The case was recessed until 9 a.m. Friday. He reportedly left the courtroom talking to paramedics.

Still no update on Harris' condition, but Linda Satter of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has reported that when lawyers talked with Judge Brian Miller about whether the trial should proceed or there should be a mistrial, that Singer's lawyer, Luther Sutter, had said he doubted whether anything was wrong with Harris and that he'd be "fine" tomorrow. Satter reported that the judge responded: "That was the most despicable thing I’ve heard from a lawyer.”  Harris has  had heart problems in the past.

Harris' attorney, Byron Freeland, said he hadn't received a medical update on Harris, but hoped to have a report for the court in the morning. He said Harris didn't look well when the trial was interrupted.

Elicia Dover of KATV says Singer's lawyer, Sutter, wants the case dismissed and retried. She said he jumped up in court when Harris began having chest pains and said, "Called it." She reports that Sutter believes he can't get a fair trial because of potential sympathy for Harris.

The judge said the last thing he wanted to do is retry the case, but also understood the jury may have sympathy toward Mr. Harris.

"The last thing the State of Arkansas wants is to put the money up for another week of trial," Judge Brian Miller said. "If his health isn't restored in a day or so, I think we're done."

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Artist Dale Chihuly's court battle

    Dale Chihuly, the visionary artist whose work is currently on exhibit at Crystal Bridges, is the subject of a New York Times feature today about an ongoing court battle and the condition of the 75-year-old artist.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Troubles mount for Sen. Jake Files. Maybe others, too

    Sen. Jakes Files has serious problems, based on an FBI affidavit filed Monday in Fort Smith. One new question is how many other legislators have problems based on spending of state surplus money?
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Confederate memories of a Southern boy

    Confederate memories. How a Son of the South went wrong — or right, depending on your point of view.
    • Aug 21, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

  • Troubles mount for Sen. Jake Files. Maybe others, too

    Sen. Jakes Files has serious problems, based on an FBI affidavit filed Monday in Fort Smith. One new question is how many other legislators have problems based on spending of state surplus money?
  • Confederate memories of a Southern boy

    Confederate memories. How a Son of the South went wrong — or right, depending on your point of view.
  • Artist Dale Chihuly's court battle

    Dale Chihuly, the visionary artist whose work is currently on exhibit at Crystal Bridges, is the subject of a New York Times feature today about an ongoing court battle and the condition of the 75-year-old artist.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation