Defendant Slaps Attorney in Court

A man who was to be tried for assault smacked his court-appointed lawyer during jury selection, stunning the potential jurors and forcing the judge to declare a mistrial.

Justin Jacobson, 21, and his lawyer W. Larry Jefferson had been whispering back and forth during proceedings Wednesday in Thurston County Superior Court, witnesses said.

Jacobson, whose eyes were focused elsewhere, backhanded his attorney without warning, said Undersheriff Neil McClanahan, who was in the courtroom because he had received a summons for jury duty in the case.

"Not only did you see it, you heard it," McClanahan said.

Details here from the AP via the San Francisco Chronicle.