Judge attempts simultaneous trials in Tenn.

Judge attempts simultaneous trials in Tenn.

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MEMPHIS (AP) - A Tennessee judge tried something unprecedented - overseeing two unrelated trials at the same time.

A missing witness foiled the experiment of Criminal Court Judge W. Mark Ward in Memphis. Ward tried to conduct the trial of a man charged with vandalism while conducting a separate trial for a man charged with aggravated assault.

The two trials alternated mornings and afternoons in Ward's courtroom until a witness failed to show up for the vandalism trial. That ended Ward's experiment.

A jury acquitted the man charged with aggravated assault on Thursday.

Ward told The Commercial Appeal he will probably try again to hold simultaneous trials, although not with more serious charges such as murder.

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