ST. ALBANS: After a juror said he remembered additional testimony not admitted into evidence, the Judge in the case declared a mistrial.
The testimony the juror in question remembered was an additional portion of the recording that the judge had ruled should not be played for the jury.
McAllister is on trial for the fourth time, this case relating to a $70 loan Norm McAllister had given to his accuser, which allowed her to pay a back electric bill.
“I commend you for coming forward with the information,” Judge Kupersmith told the juror. “I will excuse you at this time.”
Initially, the judge called in the alternate juror, who had been sent home on Thursday thinking they were discharged without any further instruction.
“It’s a concern to me that we are going to call that person back,” Katims clarified to the judge in his request for a mistrial.
“The information the juror had, although he didn’t share it, was clearly negative information about Mr. McAllister,” argued defense attorney Robert Katims on Friday, asking for the mistrial.
The juror said the added information was making him lean a different way, because “It speaks to his character.”
The judge said if both sides agreed that it was appropriate to declare a mistrial, he would.
The State’s Attorney, John Lavoie agreed with Katims, leading to the Judge to reluctanly declare the mistrial.
“You always live on the edge,” said Judge Kupersmith to Lavoie in regards to playing it safe, “I don’t know why you are starting now.
The judge wanted to question the alternate jurors to determine if they heard any extraneous information prior to declaring the mistrial, but in the
“Although I like to push the rules at times when they are appropriate,” Kupersmith explained later to the jury, “I’m going to have to dismiss (the jury).”
Kupersmith went on to explain to the jury that unexpected things happen and he appreciated their thoroughness and time in the matter.
It is unclear how the case will proceed, or if the State will drop the charges. The Judge has set a date for status in about 45 days to determine the next step in the case.