Platte County Circuit Court Judge Lee Hull has declared a mistrial in the first-degree murder trial of Brandon Church. Hull granted the mistrial, asked for by Church’s attorney, after Platte County prosecutors and the defense became aware of additional crime scene photographs that had not been reviewed prior to trial.
A new trial date of April 7 has been set, at which time the entire process will start over. This includes section of new jury and bringing any witnesses who had testified this week back to the witness stand.
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said he was in “100 percent agreement” with Hull’s declaration of a mistrial.
“This is the most serious crime someone can be accused of, and it is vitally important that Mr. Church and his lawyers have the opportunity to review all of the evidence in order to receive a fair trial,” Zahnd said. “We look forward to presenting evidence to another jury on April 7.”
The mistrial is the latest delay in the case – it has taken more than two and one-half years to bring the case to trial. Church, 22, is accused of beating Platte County man Kerry Deyo to death in July of 2011.
For more information, see the story on this site and in the Citizen printed issue detailing the start of the trial earlier this week. The Citizen will provide additional coverage in next week’s issue.