The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 19, 2013

Attorney sues county over client’s sucker punch

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A defense attorney is suing a Blair County's commissioners, prison board, district attorney and sheriff’s deputies – but not his former death-row inmate client – for somehow allowing the handcuffed prisoner to sucker punch the lawyer in a courtroom May 13.

Blair County officials aren’t commenting on the lawsuit reported Tuesday by the Altoona Mirror.

Defense attorney Timothy Burns contends officials should have done more to prevent 46-year-old Andre Staton from slugging Burns, Staton’s court appointed lawyer. Staton is awaiting trial on assault charges, and was reportedly upset with Burns because a judge ruled against Staton at the appeal hearing.

Staton is appealing his conviction on charges he fatally stabbed his girlfriend, Beverly Yohn, of Altoona.

Burns was knocked out and is still dealing with post-concussion issues.

Wednesday's editions of The Tribune-Democrat will have more on this story.

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