Indiana Daily Student

Mistrial request delays Messel trial

Before the jurors entered the courtroom this morning defense attorney Dorie Maryan asked for a mistrial.

Thursday during proceedings Dr. George Weir testified as a forensic pathologist. Expert witness.

As the state was questioning him three photos were offered to the court that Weir identified as true and accurate to Hannah Wilson’s knee abrasions.

However, when presented to the defense, Maryan objected and the photos were discovered to not be of Wilson or pertinent to the case at all.

Because of the discussion of the photos in the courtroom, Maryan argued there was no way to recover from this mistake and that a mistrial was needed.

There was also concern that even though the photos weren’t presented to the jury that some might have seen them as they were passed to Weir to observe.

After listening to the recording, Judge Judith Stewart ruled that a mistrial was not needed but did say she would admonish the jury if Maryan so wished and also offered for Maryan to re-interview Weir if she wanted to.

Maryan said she would take time to think about the options.

In court today Daniel Messel also expressed concern that a juror had seen him shackled and being taken out to the van after Thursday’s proceedings.

Messel claimed he saw juror No. 12 sitting on a bench on the south side of the courtroom and that he could have seen him earlier.

At this time Messel was in a van with tinted windows. To determine if the juror had been tainted, Stewart brought him in alone and asked if he had seen Messel outside of the courtroom.

The juror said he had no recollection of ever seeing Messel outside.

With this issue resolved Stewart asked the rest of the jurors if they had ever seen Messel outside of the courtroom and with no affirmative responses the court continued with the day’s scheduled witnesses. 

Suzanne Grossman

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