Judge denies trial delay over key witness' plans to view solar eclipse

The moon almost entirely covers the sun during the solar eclipse Monday, August 21, 2017, near Redmond, Oregon.

Timothy J. Gonzalez / AP

TAMPA, Fla. -- A federal judge in Florida ruled a trial couldn't be postponed just because one of the key witnesses — a federal agent — had travel plans to see the solar eclipse.

In a three-page ruling issued Friday, Judge Steven Merryday denied the motion filed by an assistant U.S. attorney.

Prosecutors wanted Monday's trial postponed because an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent had booked a trip to see the eclipse on a day when defendant Joseph Bishop was to stand trial for unlawfully transporting firearms.

Merryday called it a "cruel fate" that allowed the trial and the eclipse to happen on the same day.

He quoted from singer Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," which contains a line about flying to witness an eclipse.