WICHITA — “I therefore have no other choice but to declare a mistrial in this matter, as frustrating as that is for everyone involved,” those were the words of district court judge Tyler Roush back on April 26th during Javan Ervin’s first trial.
Due to a juror talking about facts of the case they learned from outside of the courtroom, Roush had to declare a mistrial, postponing the hearing.
On Monday, jury selection began for the retrial.
Wichita defense attorney Dan Monnat says with the case starting back up, he doesn’t expect jury selection to be any different than normal. A mistrial, like what happened in Ervin’s case, highlights just how important an impartial jury is.
“I don’t see what they can give to this case. A higher level of scrutiny than they already did? Because they ferreted out misconduct last time,” Monnat said. “Jury selection is extremely important in a criminal case. It is the vanguard of your sixth amendment Constitutional right to be tried only by an impartial jury. All here want to emphasize that much more the independent duty of each juror to police themselves, and make sure that they are not listening to any outside sources about the accusations here.”
Monnat says that because this is a higher profile case, it is imperative of the judge, prosecution and defense to hammer home the rules when it comes to looking up the case and he thinks they will.
A mistrial, like what happened in Ervin’s case, highlights just how important an impartial jury is. Ervin is on trial for first degree murder in the death of Samantha Russel. He is accused of hitting her car in a west Wichita intersection, killing her.
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