PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge presiding over a trial involving two polygamous cities along the Arizona-Utah border was expected to return to the bench Tuesday after he fell ill in the courtroom and was taken away in an ambulance.
U.S. Judge H. Russel Holland was carted out of the courtroom on a gurney Monday after he said he had been suffering from bronchitis.
Jurors were called back into court later in the day to get an update.
“He is doing well, and he wanted you to know it,” U.S. District Judge Stephen McNamee told jurors, adding that Holland needed to rest but intended on being back in court Tuesday.
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McNamee said he wasn’t taking over the case.
Holland, 79, is overseeing a civil trial in which the U.S. Justice Department alleges governments and police in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, operate as an arm of a polygamous sect.
The cities are accused of discriminating against nonbelievers by denying them housing, water services and police protection. The communities deny the allegations.
Blake Hamilton, an attorney for Hildale, said the trial had just resumed after a morning break and he had posed a question when the judge said he was feeling ill. Hamilton said Holland lowered his head but did not collapse.
Two jury members with medical backgrounds tended to the judge until emergency workers arrived.
Jeff Matura, an attorney for Colorado City, said Holland was just getting his voice back after suffering bronchitis over the past two weeks.
Holland is an Alaska judge who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. He is one of several visiting judges from other courts who hear cases in Arizona.