Former Indiana mayor on trial for wire fraud requests new trial, says judge fell asleep

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Former Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist and his wife, Deborah, arrive at the federal courthouse in Hammond during his public corruption trial earlier this month. (Jim Karczewski / Post-Tribune)

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HAMMOND, Ind. (September 23, 2015) — Attorneys for a former northwestern Indiana mayor and his wife convicted of wire fraud and other charges for improperly using funds from his campaign and a city food pantry are asking for a new trial because they say a federal judge fell asleep during their trial.

Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist and his wife, Deborah Soderquist, were convicted September 11 of conspiracy, seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of filing false income tax returns.

In a motion filed Tuesday, attorneys for the Soderquists said U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano was observed to have been asleep “a number of occasions during the trial,” prejudicing their right to a fair trial and due process.

A message seeking comment was left for Lozano at his office Wednesday by The Associated Press.

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