2-29-08 Briana Waters trial is in deliberations.

 
February 29, 2008 -- Brianna Waters trial is in deliberations and could be done today. The trial part of the Briana Waters case is over as of this morning when the jury was given last instructions by the court to begin deliberations. This morning, The defense objected to the prosecution's closing statement and called for a mistrial.

The objections were based on the grounds that Mr Bartlett misspoke about several points during his closing statement. The worse one was that he referenced and placed on the jury's screen an exhibit that had not been offered nor admitted to the court. The exhibit in question was Justin Solondz's bank records during the time of May 2001. There was an ATM withdrawal on May 19th 2001 of $200.

This was the same day that Rob Corina rented a car allegedly at the request of Brianna Waters. The prosecution claimed that Justin gave the $200 to Briana to pay for the car rental which was about $187. Mr Corina had deposited $200 to his bank account the next week.

The defense motioned for a mistrial in light of the fact that the prosecution was using the car rental records as well as Lacey Phillabaum's and Rob Corina's testimonies to tie Brianna to the arson at the Center for Urban Horticulture. The prosection didn't think the exhibit was of enough importance to have a mistrial. The Defense did.

Suprise, surpise, Judge Bergess chose to not allow a mistrial and called the jury in to give curative instructions so that the bank records of Justin Solondz were not to be taken into account when discussing the verdict. The Defense has made an objection for the record to help facilitate an appeal if needed.

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