Heart Attack Leads to Mistrial in Assault Case


HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) -- A public defender in central Nebraska has suffered a heart attack, leading a judge to declare a mistrial in an assault case.

According to the Hastings Tribune, Adams County Public Defender Art Toogood had a heart attack over the weekend. He is now at a hospital in Lincoln. His family has asked hospital staff not to release information about his condition.

Toogood's absence in Adams County District Court on Monday morning forced Judge Stephen Illingworth to declare a mistrial in the case against 30-year-old John Espino, which began Thursday and was expected to conclude Monday.

Espino has been accused of hitting his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach with a board in August 2011.

Prosecutors can still try the case later.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.