Judge orders release of man convicted while his public defender was handcuffed

Earlier this month, Daniel Fernandez was sentenced to a six-month jail term while his public defender was in handcuffs, silenced and forced to sit with the accused awaiting trial, having been put in this position by Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen.

Now, District Judge Rob Bar has ordered the release of Fernandez on the basis that, essentially, Justice Hafen is an asshole.

District Judge Rob Bare released Daniel Fernandez after reviewing Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen's handling of the case. Bare noted that Hafen directly addressed the defendant on May 23 while Deputy Public Defender Zohra Bakhtary was handcuffed and silenced.

"A lot of meaningful things were covered that, respectfully, a lawyer could potentially weigh in on," Bare said. "But even if the lawyer chose not to weigh in, it troubles me that a judge would speak directly to a now-unrepresented client in this regard."

Judge releases man who received jail sentence while lawyer was in handcuffs [David Ferrera/Las Vegas Review Journal]

(Thanks, Ken!)