A Hanover County judge will have to decide what to do about a Mechanicsville man who collapsed and was hospitalized for the second time while on trial for the killing of his girlfriend.
It was March when Derek Burkhead first faced a jury on charges that he shot his girlfriend during an argument. He claimed the gun went off accidentally. During a break in the trial, Burkhead fell to the floor and began kicking his legs in an apparent seizure. The next day, the judge granted his motion for a mistrial.
Yesterday, the scene was repeated, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Burkhead collapsed on the front steps of the county courts building during a lunch break. He remains hospitalized today. Circuit Judge J. Overton Harris will consider how to handle the unfinished trial.
UPDATE: The Times-Dispatch reports the judge declared a second mistrial. Burkhead remains in the hospital.
By Peter Vieth