When the whole world knows you’re the hedge fund manager who faked your suicide to avoid jail, it’s tough to deny it. So Sam Israel was planning to plead guilty to bail-jumping–until he stumbled into the hearing so high on methadone that the judge refused to accept the plea. AP:
A hedge-fund manager accused of faking his own suicide tried to plead guilty to bail jumping on Wednesday, but his case was postponed after he told the judge that his drug therapy was affecting his ability to think clearly.
The manager, Samuel Israel III, 49, tried to enter the plea Wednesday morning, but a federal magistrate judge refused to accept the plea and an afternoon session was scheduled before Judge Kenneth Karas of Federal District Court…
Judge Karas asked Mr. Israel several questions meant to make sure that a defendant entering a guilty plea knows what he is doing. When the judge asked about medications, Mr. Israel said he was being weaned off the painkiller fentanyl — which had been prescribed after several back surgeries — with methadone.
When the judge asked him to rank his clear-mindedness on a scale of 1 to 100, Mr. Israel, wearing an untucked brown T-shirt and a salt-and-pepper beard, said, “About 70 per cent.” He professed his desire to go ahead with the plea, saying, “I certainly can understand what’s going on here.” “I would not say I’m guilty of something because I’m drugged up if I’m not guilty,” Mr. Israel insisted. But he also said he was “a little shaky.
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