Bad courtroom behavior leads judge to declare mistrial for Albuquerque attorney

Venie mistrial

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The trial was supposed to last all week for an Albuquerque attorney who pulled out a gun in his downtown law office and shot a homeless man, but the judge declared a mistrial Wednesday because of the lawyer’s courtroom behavior.

David Chip Venie was on trial for shooting a homeless man in the leg in 2012 after he stepped into the lobby of his office despite several warnings from Venie not to come in.

The judge says Venie was a problem from the beginning in this trial. Venie called the victim inappropriate names in his opening statements Monday. He says Venie then showed the jury mugshots of the victim, one with the word “busted” over it. And despite many objections the judge says Venie kept asking the same questions.

“I’m promising to the court, on record, that to the extent you found the obstructive conduct, I won’t do that today,” Venie said.

The judge wasn’t having any of Venie’s plea to keep the trial going, saying the damage is done.

Venie said he opened fire in self-defense.

Venie won’t be able to represent himself when he goes on trial again. At this time there is no word on when the trial will be rescheduled.

Venie is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.

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