Bessman Okafor attorney asks for mistrial after improper men's room conversation
Updated On: Sep 13 2013 05:28:12 PM EDT
The attorney for Bessman Okafor asked for a mistrial on Friday in Okafor's home invasion trial after he says another attorney had an improper conversation with a witness in the bathroom.
Okafor, who is accused in a home invasion police say is linked to the murder of 19-year-old Alex Zaldivar, broke into a home with another man and later killed one of the key witnesses in the home invasion case, police say.
The judge said it seems like there was a violation of sequestration when one of the attorneys was bad-mouthing another attorney in front of a state witness, but there was no prejudice shown and denied his request.
Home invasion victim William Harrington said that co-defendant Nolan Bernard's attorney said "He's a curse word. He doesn't know what he's talking about."
The state called surviving home invasion victim Brienna Campos back on the witness stand for cross examination on Friday, then the state called her brother, Brandon.
Police say Okafor and a friend broke into the teen's Ocoee home in May 2012, demanded cash and drugs at gunpoint and tied up Zaldivar and his two roommates.
"That's when one of them pointed the gun towards my face and said 'Step back, step back. This isn't a game. Get on the ground,'" Brandon Campos told the jury. "He is, Bessman Okafor, at the far right end of that table."
Okafor said he was at his sister's house at the same time that home invasion occurred.
Just months later, according to investigators, Okafor went back to the same home and shot three people, including Zaldivar, execution style. Zaldivar was killed, while the other 2 victims survived.
Okafor shot Zaldivar, according to police, to keep him from testifying.
The home invasion trial had been delayed for months, and in June a judge delayed it further, saying lawyers needed more time to look at evidence.
Okafor and his co-defendant, face up to life in prison for the home invasion.
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