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Trials & Litigation

Victim’s dad offers stranded juror a ride home, judge declares mistrial

Posted Aug 27, 2013 11:10 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Judges routinely instruct jurors to avoid a wide range of activities that could prove problematic to a criminal defendant's right to a fair trial.

However, the list is not all-inclusive, and it appears that an Alabama juror inadvertently stepped outside the bounds by admittedly accepting a ride home Monday night with the father of the victim and other family members, according to the Huntsville Times.

The judge declared a mistrial Tuesday morning, although both the unidentified juror and the man who offered a ride to the seemingly stranded individual said nothing was said about the case.

"I was just being helpful," testified the victim's father, Antonio Cortez Colbert. "I've always been that way. I didn't mean any harm by it, and that's the God's honest truth."

Defendant Stephen Dewayne Gray, 24, is charged with robbery and assault for allegedly shooting a store clerk and stealing about $400 in March 2012, as an earlier Huntsville Times article details. The clerk's injuries were not fatal.

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