COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Courtroom fireworks Wednesday as the public corruption trial for suspended District Attorney Mark Jones entered its third day.
It wasn’t the embattled DA who lit the fuse of Superior Court Judge Katherine Lumsden, but Chris Breault, Jones’ friend, adviser, and attorney.
Breault was held in criminal contempt by Judge Lumsden.
It started with a tense exchange as Breault was testifying in the case. Breault was asked what kind of law he practiced by Deputy Attorney General John Fowler. Breault mentioned the previous property damage case, the “Donut Case” in which Breault represented Jones.
That case ended in a mistrial because of witness misconduct back in September. Charges against Jones were later dropped.
Lumsden had ruled that testimony about that case could not come into this trial.
Following Breault’s testimony mentioning the previous case today, Judge Lumsden immediately sent the jury out of the room. She told Breault she was holding him in contempt and she would send him to jail following his testimony.
“It is relevant evidence, in response to questioning, period. I am the gatekeeper of what is relevant. You do not get to argue with me,” said Judge Lumsden. “If you tell me one more time, that when I said don’t do it, or I said it’s not relevant, or I said you are not answering the question, if you contradict me one more time, I will take you out of here in handcuffs and we will move on to another witness and I will start with you in the morning.”
A contempt hearing was held after the jury in the Jones trial was dismissed for the day. Following the hearing, Breault was taken into custody and ordered to serve 48 hours in the Muscogee County Jail by Judge Lumsden.