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Court Error - Abuse of Discretion.

Byline: Derek Hawkins

WI Court of Appeals District III

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Danny L. Benford, Jr.

Case No.: 2017AP2520

Officials: Stark, P.J., Hruz and Seidl, JJ.

Focus: Court Error - Abuse of Discretion

Danny Benford appeals a judgment, entered upon a jury's verdict, convicting him of one count of first-degree reckless injury, one count of aggravated battery, and two counts of disorderly conduct. He also appeals an order denying his postconviction motion for a new trial.

On appeal, Benford contends that he is entitled to a new trial because: (1) the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion by ordering that he wear a stun belt to attend his trial; and (2) this erroneous decision resulted in the coerced and involuntary waiver of his constitutional and statutory rights to be present at trial. We conclude the court did not erroneously exercise its discretion by requiring Benford to wear a stun belt during the trial because the court made case-specific findings that supported its determination that such an order was necessary to ensure courtroom safety. Further, we conclude that Benford voluntarily waived his constitutional and statutory rights to be present at trial. Consequently, we affirm.

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Derek A Hawkins is trademark corporate counsel for Harley-Davidson. Hawkins oversees the prosecution and maintenance of the Harley-Davidson's international trademark portfolio in emerging markets. [/box]

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Publication:Wisconsin Law Journal
Date:Apr 29, 2019
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