PASADENA, Calif. – A federal appeals court has overturned a businessman's tax fraud conviction because the Los Angeles judge didn't postpone the case so the man could be at his son's deathbed.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the Los Angeles judge unreasonably failed to halt Garth Kloehn's trial in 2005 and also prejudiced the case by failing to tell jurors why he was allowed to skip the last day.
A new trial was ordered.
Kloehn was convicted of four tax evasion counts and sentenced to 46 months in prison for failing to report $1.2 million in income.
He was the only defense witness at his trial. He was allowed to miss the last day of testimony and flew to a Las Vegas hospital, arriving an hour before his son died of cancer.