Judge declares mistrial because attorney is unfit to lead

October 10, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge has declared a mistrial in an attempted murder case because the suspect’s 87-year-old attorney is not fit to represent his client.

Leonard Levenson agreed with Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ruth Pickholz, saying he was not fit to move forward as the main representative for Marianne Benjamin-Williams Tuesday. Pickholz told Levenson “I don’t think you should be trying cases.”

The judge allowed co-counsel Raymond Loving — who made the request for a mistrial — to take over as main attorney and for the court-appointed Levenson to stay on in a support position. The case was adjourned to next week to discuss future trial dates.

Prosecutors say Benjamin-Williams tried to suffocate a 2-month-old child she nannied. Levenson says there’s no motive and the prosecution’s case is “all circumstantial.”

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