Mistrial Declared In Quadruple-Homicide Case Due To COVID-19 Concerns

Man: Quinn and Cantara.

Cantara: It’s 1-800-LAW-1010. That’s 1800law1010.com. Forgot the .com last week the second time I said it. I feel so bad I didn’t get it in. It’s 1800law1010.com. Our buddy Paul Harding‘s on the phone.

Quinn: How you holding up, Paul?

Paul: Hey. Doing well. Doing good. You know, this sunlight and this early morning kinda, you know, nice weather makes it seem okay. You know?

Quinn: Or bearable.

Paul: Really, like, changes things. Yeah, more bearable.

Cantara: I used to see you at the gym. What are you doing now?

Paul: Yeah, so I got this…I’m like a Mr. Burpee. I’m doing hundreds of these burpees…

Cantara: Come on.

Paul: …which is annoying my family. Yeah, because I’m burpee-ing everywhere, and…

Quinn: That’s the way to be, though.

Cantara: Those are hard to do.

Quinn: Yeah, that’s like…you’re a man, Paul. You’re a full-on, fledged man.

Paul: I’m learning to hate them.

Quinn: Good job.

Cantara: All right, so we wanna talk about this Rensselaer County Court Judge, Debra Young, declaring a mistrial in Troy on the quadruple homicide case. This happened middle of last week. Because it kept getting postponed, because jurors are sick and hesitant to go to the courtroom, among the atmosphere we’re living in, is my guess. So a mistrial means they start all over?

Paul: Yeah, they basically declare that the trial is invalid, and they say, “Well, this didn’t happen. We’re gonna start over.” And three things usually happen. One is you can dismiss the charges. Two, they do a…

Quinn: Yeah, that ain’t happening.

Paul: …plea bargain, because they kinda recognize, “Hey, we got problems with the case.” But here, because of the coronavirus reason, they’re just gonna retry this thing when the dust settles.

Cantara: I see they were trying to socially distance the jurors, separating the chairs. Is this still happening?

Paul: Yeah. No, they were…yeah, this was the last trial that was going on in the entire state. And the trial itself had gone on schedule. And I think probably the prosecutors thought this was gonna be…you know, the jurors were gonna need about an hour or a half a day to decide this. You know, they had testimony putting the defendant there, gruesome murders. And it just didn’t go down that way. They wanted to hear all kinds of testimony. The days languished. And then one of the jurors got sick and a couple of jurors, they were afraid to come in.

Cantara: And there’s no way you can just send everyone home and say, “We’ll see you in a couple months to finish the jury process?” Why can’t you do that?

Paul: Yeah. Well, you know, the influences, first of all, recollection of the events and the testimony is a big factor you want. But also, you get home, you get influenced, you start reading some news. People say, “Oh, you’re on, you know, that case. I know about…I heard this.” So, yeah, once they, you know, send you home, they’re gonna do this thing again. And, you know, it is the right thing to do. I mean, obviously, if Mr. White is convicted here, you know, he’s spending the rest of his life in prison, so they gotta get it right.

Cantara: He’s still in jail. He’s still doing burpees, right?

Paul: Well, yeah, I don’t know.

Cantara: He’s not out. They can’t let him out.

Paul: I can relate to that. Yeah, lockdown.

Quinn: Not prison, but probably some sort of jail-type deal.

Cantara: But the magnitude of the jury’s decision is so great that you can’t take any chances.

Quinn: Like, I don’t wanna protect this guy, but does that hurt this guy’s chance, even though he killed four people? Four innocent folks?

Paul: Well, it’s interesting. When you do this mistrial and you get this kind of a do-over, you know, they debate who has the advantage. Often, they think that the defendant has the advantage. They see where the prosecution was going with this and, you know, they can kinda now prepare a second time around. So, I don’t know if it’ll be enough to sway the jury in this case, but yeah, they usually say this mistrial, second trial, can go to the advantage of the defendant.

Quinn: A sign of our times, for sure.

Cantara: Hey Paul, say thanks to everyone over there because they hooked up the iHeart staff with breakfast yesterday. And we appreciate it because…

Paul: Yeah. Yeah, you’re welcome.

Cantara: …radio guys love free food.

Quinn: Yeah, they do.

Cantara: Thank you so much.

Paul: We figured. Yeah. No, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Quinn: Thanks, Paul.

Paul: All right, guys. Thank you.

Cantara: Paul Harding. 1-800-LAW-1010. 1800law1010…

Quinn and Cantara together: .com