The California Commission on Judicial Performance last week publicly admonished a Riverside County judge who delayed a murder trial verdict so he could attend a baseball game.

Superior Court Judge Paul Zellerbach “failed to give his judicial duties preference” on Oct. 5, 2004, when he left a jury deliberating a double homicide case to watch the Anaheim Angels host the Boston Red Sox in a playoff game, the commission said. When Zellerbach’s clerk called the judge to say the jury had reached a verdict after one day of deliberating, he refused to return to court or to allow another judge to take the verdict. Zellerbach ordered the case held over until the next morning when he returned to court.

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