Judge Repairs Guns in Courtroom
Thursday, July 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
HOUSTON (AP) â€” A state judge has been reprimanded for repairing guns on the bench as he presided over jury selection in a murder trial.
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct said Wednesday that District Judge H. Lon Harper ``failed to act in a dignified manner'' and ``failed to maintain order and decorum in the courtroom.''
Harper said the time he spent repairing two single-action Colt revolvers took only a few hours during jury selection that took weeks last fall.
``Almost all the judges carry guns. I just should have just kept mine under the robe instead of outside of it with a screwdriver,'' Harper said. ``I guess I won't do any more handgun repair on the bench.''
The commission also cited Harper for allowing a court bailiff to read a British tabloid â€” which included a picture of a man being eaten by a python â€” during jury selection and for distributing business cards for his private mediation business that were adorned with the state seal.