Convict loses appeal over sleepy lawyer

DETROIT (AP) -- A man sent to prison for decades has failed to convince an appeals court that his trial was spoiled by a sleepy attorney.

A federal court last week refused to throw out the attempted murder conviction of Joseph Muniz of Wayne County. He claims his lawyer fell asleep during crucial portions of cross-examination by the prosecutor. Muniz presented an affidavit from a juror.

But the appeals court says the case against Muniz was overwhelming. He was accused of shooting the boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend in 2004. The victim and an eyewitness identified Muniz as the gunman, and his own mother even testified against him.

The 33-year-old isn't eligible for parole until 2035.

Published: Tue, Aug 2, 2011