Va. Tech Massacre Causes Mistrial in California

A California judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a Korean-American reserve sheriff’s officer accused of pulling a gun on two golfers, because the recent massacre of 32 people at Virginia Tech by another man of South Korean descent could unfairly influence a jury.

Agreeing with defense counsel arguments that the defendant’s right to a fair trial could be compromised by last week’s carnage at the college campus, Judge Douglas M. Elwell of San Bernadino County Superior Court excused a jury about to hear opening arguments and postponed the trial, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune It is now scheduled for June.

Raymond K. Yi is accused of having flashed his sheriff’s badge and pulling a gun in July 2005 during a course dispute with a group of golfers. However, his lawyer says he did so only after one of the other golfers swung a club at him.

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