An appeals court says a Pennsylvania man serving time in a drive-by shooting deserves to be resentenced because a judge violated his rights by telling the man to "suck it up" when he requested a new attorney.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the Superior Court opinion also reminded Allegheny County Judge Donald Machen that conduct rules require him to be "patient, dignified and courteous."
Twenty-three-year-old Bruce Smith appealed his 17- to 34-year sentence claiming his rights were violated during that 2011 hearing when he tried to fire his court-appointed attorney.
A court transcript shows Machen responded -- quote -- "Well, we all have problems every day of the week, so suck it up." The judge hasn't scheduled a new sentencing hearing.
Smith was convicted of being a passenger in a car from which others fired shots.