News

Lancaster murder trial ends in mistrial after reference to prior case

Written by The Associated Press | May 14, 2019 3:00 PM
gavel_justice.jpg

(Lancaster) -- A judge has declared a mistrial in a homicide trial after a witness referred to the defendant's acquittal in an earlier homicide case.

LNP newspaper reports that Tuesday's ruling came after a former prison inmate testified he felt intimidated because he said 43-year-old Wilberto Melendez said he got out of a homicide case.

Melendez was on trial in the October 2017 slaying of William Cooper Jr., who was found shot on a Lancaster street. But jurors weren't supposed to know he was acquitted in 2016 in the November 2014 death of 32-year-old Jeremy Torres outside an after-hours party.

Attorneys said they hope for a November retrial. Defense attorney Jack McMahon said he had been "comfortable with" the direction of the trial and his client had been expected to testify Wednesday.

Published in News

Tagged under ,

back to top