ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The victim of a near-fatal beating in St. Paul last summer set off a legal skirmish when he showed up at the trial of one of the suspects.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ray Widstrand arrived Friday at the trial of a 17-year-old accused of taking part in his beating during an August street brawl.

Widstrand, who walked with a cane, arrived when the jury wasn't in the courtroom. He stepped out and did not return after a dispute arose over whether his presence jeopardized the defendant's right to a fair trial.

Defense attorney Christopher Zipko said he had "dramatic concerns" about Widstrand's presence.

Widstrand is still missing part of his skull.