But the straw that broke the criminal trial's back came in the form of an email in which Rakofsky asked an investigator involved in the case to "Please trick the old lady to say that she did not see the shooting or provide information to the lawyers about the shooting." A hearing was immediately called, in which Judge William Jackson declared a mistrial and did everything short of bending Rakofsky over his knee and spanking him with a gavel, after which Rakofsky, according to The Washington Post, "declined to comment on the case as he rushed down the escalators and out of the courthouse." We have to assume that didn't happen quite as quickly as described, since going down the up escalator tends to be a tedious process.
Marijuana Entered as Evidence (Apparently) Goes Up in Smoke
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Greg Hinz was on trial for the kind of thing that courts across the country must view as mundane, crank 'em in, crank 'em out, everyday bullshit: possession of marijuana, driving while under the influence of said possessed marijuana, and failing to possess a driver's license while doing said driving while under the influence of twice-said possessed marijuana. The evidence was downright damning: a half-smoked joint and some rolling papers (in such a straightforward case, it doesn't take a whole lot of evidence to stack up to "damning").
The trial was going swimmingly -- Deputy Prosecutor Michael Held had just presented his case and entered the aforementioned doobie into evidence -- right up until Judge W. Laurence Wilson called for a lunch recess, because certain aspects of court proceedings are apparently just like elementary school. After the bell rang to return to class and courthouse aides helped a crying DA off the top of the monkey bars, everyone filed back into the courtroom to find that the marijuana and rolling papers -- which had been left in plain sight on a counter in the altogether unlocked courtroom -- were shockingly missing.
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Scooby and the gang can probably stay home for this mystery.
Hinz and three of his friends (who were there for moral support, we guess?) were spotted going into the courtroom during the break, so of course search warrants were immediately obtained to give them a good once-over. Maybe even a twice-over. However, it was all for naught -- the pot had, quite simply, disappeared. The judge declared a mistrial for the drug charges, and the two-day trial (which likely resulted in thousands of dollars in court costs) ended with Hinz being charged with driving without a license.
The defendant constantly giggling and quoting Half Baked probably didn't help matters.
"How could this infinitely still-smokable evidence possibly have vanished so completely?!" court officials presumably exclaimed while overdramatically throwing their hands into the air, even as Hinz and co. probably crammed fistfuls of Cheetos into their face holes to quell their uncontrollable giggling. OK, there's no evidence that the guys smoked the evidence (even if they were guilty of tampering with said evidence, they could just as easily have dropped by the restroom and flushed it). But come on. You know damned well that somebody smoked that shit.
Timo Laine has a YouTube channel that he sometimes updates and a blog that he updates even less.
For more ridiculous things in our justice system, check out 7 Ridiculous Cases Where Animals Were Put On Trial and 5 Stupid Juries That Prove the Justice System Is Broken.