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Submitted May 28, 2009

Before THOMPSON, Associate Judge, TERRY and SCHWELB, Senior Judges.

After a bench trial, the Superior Court found appellant Derrick Ferrell guilty of simple assault (see D.C. Code § 22-404 (a) (2001)). Ferrell appealed on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. We think the evidence was sufficient, though not overwhelming (or even strong), but we need not discuss that issue. As we explain below, but for the trial court’s failure to correct the prosecutor’s misapprehension that the government required leave of court to dismiss the case-as the prosecutor told the court he wanted to do before the court declared a recess in the trial-the case would have been dismissed. We conclude that this omission by the court was plain error; that this plain error-coming as it did on the heel of comments that the trial judge erroneously interjected, expressing her disagreement with the prosecutor’s assessment of the evidence-affected appellant’s substantial rights; and that together the errors seriously undermined the integrity of the proceedings. We therefore reverse appellant’s conviction.

 
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