A Kansas City man convicted of murder earlier this year will get a new trial, in part because a member of his jury was spotted sleeping, according to court documents filed on Friday.
A Jackson County jury in October found Christopher V. Perkins, 50, guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death last year of Kelvin Paige, 53, near 25th and Campbell streets. The jury also found him guilty of armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.
But on Friday Judge Sandra Midkiff ordered that Perkins receive a new trial, in part because it appeared a juror had been asleep while Perkins was testifying in his own defense. The judge wrote that the juror had been seen “with eyes closed and head bowed to an approximate 45-degree angle. … These are the usual observations that give concern to counsel and the court.”
The judge also gave another reason for ordering the new trial. During jury selection, prosecutors had been allowed to describe too many details of the crime, the judge wrote, at a point in the proceedings when it was not appropriate.
Perkins remains in custody at the Jackson County jail. His case is scheduled to be heard in court again on Friday.