Vasile Graure, the man accused of igniting a fire within Glover Park strip club Good Guys last year after being booted from the club, didn’t arrive in court today. “I got a call from the Department of Corrections,” announced Judge Robert Richter to the attorneys present this morning. “Vasile Graure has an infection in his toe.”
Richter explained that the corrections officer informed him the infection “could be cellulitis. She also mentioned a few other terms that I didn’t know,” he said, before suggesting the trial be postponed at least one day: “There’s no way he’ll be here today. He could be here tomorrow. I don’t know. It could be very serious.”
Richter, Graure’s attorneys, and the attorneys for the prosecution then discussed how to inform the jury of the development. Graure’s counsel first asked Richter to inform the jury of the postponement outside of the courtroom. “I just think it looks better,” said defense attorney Andrew Ferguson of the more discrete option. “Even though it’s a facade, we continue to play this game of pretending that he’s not locked up,” Ferguson said of Graure, who appeared yesterday in court in street clothes.
Ferguson then agreed to have jurors file in to hear the news so that the exchange could be recorded by the court reporter. The 15-member jury, 11 male, four female, entered the courtroom briefly before being excused. “As you can see, Mr. Graure is not here,” Richter told the jurors, declining to discuss the defendant’s whereabouts, or reveal his status as inmate. “He is undergoing medical treatment for a condition which is legitimate, and might be serious.”