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Judge flayed for repairing guns in court

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HOUSTON (AP) — A state judge has been reprimanded for repairing guns on the bench as he presided over jury selection in a murder trial.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct said Wednesday that District Judge H. Lon Harper "failed to act in a dignified manner" and "failed to maintain order and decorum in the courtroom."

Harper said the time he spent repairing two single-action Colt revolvers took only a few hours during jury selection that took weeks last fall.

"Almost all the judges carry guns. I just should have just kept mine under the robe instead of outside of it with a screwdriver," Harper said.

The commission also cited Harper for allowing a court bailiff to read a British tabloid during jury selection and for distributing business cards for his private mediation business that were adorned with the state seal.