updated 1/26/2007 7:27:15 PM ET 2007-01-27T00:27:15

A judge declared a mistrial in an attempted-murder case after the defense lawyer said he couldn't continue his closing statement because he had lost his train of thought.

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Judge Ernest P. Gates Sr. also suggested that attorney James E. Sheffield seek medical help.

Gates declared the mistrial Thursday in the case of a man accused of shooting a police officer in the leg in 2005.

Sheffield, 74, a former judge, returned from a recess to say that he could not continue the closing argument.

Russell Smith, charged with attempted capital murder, malicious wounding and use of a firearm, offered to finish the job himself.

"This is about me," he told Gates.

The judge warned against it, and Smith requested the mistrial.

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