PHILADELPHIA – An assault trial
over a fight that cost a man his left eye ended in a mistrial Wednesday
when his prosthetic eye popped out as he was testifying, startling
John Huttick was weeping on the witness stand as he testified about
the impact of losing his eye in the August 2011 fight in the parking lot
of a bar called the New Princeton Tavern, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Suddenly, the $3,000 prosthetic blue eye popped out. Huttick caught it and cried out as two jurors gasped and started to rise.
"I couldn't believe it just came out," Huttick said.
Judge Robert Coleman, who called it an "unfortunate, unforeseen
incident," granted a mistrial motion by defense attorney Eileen Hurley.
He scheduled a new trial for March 4.
A group of people including Huttick and defendant Matthew Brunelli
had been drinking at the bar, Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson
said. Brunelli left with a girlfriend but got into an argument with
another patron that turned into a fight in the parking lot, and when
Huttick tried to separate the pair Brunelli threw a punch that hit
Huttick's left eye, Gilson said.
Hurley said her client, who's charged with aggravated assault, struck
Huttick with a fist, but Gilson said he "stabbed" Huttick with a metal
key sticking out between his fingers.
Huttick, who's suing Brunelli, said that he lost his job because of
the injury and that depression drained his finances and nearly broke up
his relationship with his girlfriend.
"A year later," Huttick said, "I have no place to live, and I ran out of money."
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