2:00 PM EST, January 12, 2011
Jurors still can't believe they were forced to stay up all night long to reach a verdict in a murder trial.
"It was absolutely ridiculous!" said one juror.
Another juror said, "That's the word, unbelievable!"
Las Vegas Judge Valorie Vega addresses the court upon conclusion of the testimony. The jury is about to deliberate on the fate of Victor Fakoya, accused of murder after a toddler in his care was found dead.
When 2:46 a.m. rolled around, public defender Norman Reed felt obliged to speak up and ask for an end to the long day's proceedings.
Reed said, "Your Honor, it's 2:46 a.m."
But the judge wouldn't hear of it and replied, "I told the jury to eat their Wheaties to be ready for a long haul."
Reed couldn't believe his ears and said, "I couldn't stay awake! I had to let the people know that's unacceptable!"
Fellow defense lawyer Adrian Lobo was equally appalled, knowing that a dead tired jury was about to deliberate on a man's fate.
She said, "Until 2:50 in the morning they're still sitting in the box! They could fall asleep and miss something critical!"
Then the judge stunned everybody with her reason for the all-nighter and said, "I told counsel to be done by Thursday, because I'm packing up and going on vacation for two weeks."
So the jurors deliberated through the night.
"We're not talking 12, 14 hours. We're talking 19, 20 hours," a juror said.
And as the hours passed, one juror in particular began to worry and raged, "My only concern for myself was I was diabetic! I didn't bring anything, because I thought we'd be out by 10 p.m."
Finally, at about 7 a.m., they reached a verdict, not guilty. The defendant was a free man and the judge took off on her holiday.
The judge's explanation? She claims the lawyers mismanaged the court's time, and that's why they were forced to stay all night.