Mistrial in Tampa baby-throwing case - WFLA News Channel 8

Mistrial in Tampa baby-throwing case

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McTear in court August 20 after the judge declared a mistrial McTear in court August 20 after the judge declared a mistrial
Judge William Fuente said he was declaring a mistrial with "extreme reluctance" Judge William Fuente said he was declaring a mistrial with "extreme reluctance"

In May of 2009, authorities charged Richard McTear with a horrific crime.

McTear is charged with the first-degree murder of three month old Emmanuel Murray by throwing the child onto Interstate 275.

It took four years to bring the case to trial, and just one sentence uttered on the first day of testimony to bring it to a halt.

Related story: 08/19/2013 Opening statements in Tampa baby-throwing case

Jasmine Bedwell, now 22 years old is the mother of Emmanuel Murray.

At one time she was also the girlfriend of McTear.  Bedwell was one of the first witnesses called in the case, and was just beginning her testimony when assistant State Attorney Ron Gale asked her about a phone call McTear made to her in 2009.

Bedwell answered:  "He wanted to come over and I told him no and he said he was going to shoot my baby in the face and p--- on him in the face and he said he was going to kill both of us."

In seconds, Judge William Fuente stopped everything and sent the jury out of the room.

McTear's defense attorney moved for a mistrial.

Tuesday Fuente listened briefly to arguments from the defense and state about proceeding with the trial, then Fuente called the jury back into the room.

"I've reached the conclusion, as the result of those errors, if you will, that occurred in the trial, that there is no way we can proceed with a fair and impartial trial for the state and the defense," said Fuente.

Fuente declared a mistrial.  Public defender Julianne Holt says it was the right call.

"Mr. McTear had two separate cases that he had been charged in," Holt explained.  "One had occurred in March, those allegations were in March. The death this baby occurred in May. The statements that Miss Bedwell introduced into the May trial, which was occurring yesterday, occurred in March. Mr. McTear was found not guilty by a jury of his peers, by individuals in this community and therefore those statements were not relevant and were not properly admissible in this particular case."

Still, it was a frustrating process for Lori Reyes, one of the jurors selected to hear the case.

Related story: 08/19/2013 Defense requests mistrial in McTear murder case

Reyes said, "I have no idea why, what the witness said was, I don't know why it was a mistrial because she wasn't supposed to testify and I believe that really was said, I don't know why she wasn't allowed to testify to that, so no I don't understand at all."

Reyes says other jurors were frustrated as well.

"Everybody has put in a lot of time, taking time off work and you know, has put a lot of time into it, a week and a half and you're here almost eight hours a day and so it's a little frustrating knowing you've put all this time in and was ok, it's over with, go home now," said Reyes.

Holt says it will take some time to reschedule the trial.  She says it may not occur until late this year, or early in 2014.

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