CHICAGO (CBS) — The judge in Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial said he is thinking of revoking the officer’s bail after he was late arriving to court Thursday afternoon when parties in the case were brought into court due to two questions from the jury as they begin deliberations.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys were called into court about 4 ½ hours after jurors began deliberating, after the jury sent Judge Vincent Gaughan two notes, and the judge was furious Van Dyke was not in the courtroom as well.
Defense attorneys informed Gaughan a threat had been made against Van Dyke’s child, and the officer was not in court because he was taking care of the situation. Van Dyke arrived a few minute later, and Gaughan angrily scolded him for not keeping his attorneys and the court informed about where he is.
“You’re not the only person in the world, and you have wonderful support from the people that have been with you throughout each and every time you have appeared here, and they would have helped,” Gaughan said as Van Dyke appeared to choke back tears.
Gaughan also demanded information about the threat, and said he was considering revoking Van Dyke’s bail.
“If I don’t’ get any information tomorrow about a credible threat, then this is an unexcused absence, and nobody was notified, and I’m thinking of revoking bail,” he said.
Meantime, Gaughan said the jury sent two notes; one requesting a transcript of the testimony from Officer Joseph Walsh, Van Dyke’s partner on the night he shot and killed Laquan McDonald, and another saying two jurors wanted a cigarette break.
Gaughan said he was ordering jurors to end deliberations for the night, and said the jury would be sequestered for the night, along with three of the five alternate jurors. The other two alternates will be dismissed.