MAYVILLE – A trial overturned last week in Chautauqua County Court over two Buffalo men facing gun possession charges.
No new trial date for Mikial Moore and Torrie Jones, on trial as co-accused, has been set, a court clerk said. Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley declared the trial overturned on November 30, the fifth day of the proceedings.
Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt, Senior Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor Erik Bentley said that with the case still pending, he could not discuss details of the trial being canceled. However, he noted that Foley was “forced to declare trial canceled after certain information was passed on to jurors that should not have been.”
He added, in a statement to the Post-Journal: âAll trials present a mixture of questions of fact and law, with jurors deciding factual issues and the judge being responsible for making legal decisions governing the case. These trial-related legal decisions are important because they usually dictate what evidence a jury can consider.
âHere, some information outside the scope of court rulings was inadvertently shared during testimony at trial, leading the judge to question whether the defendants could continue to receive a fair trial. It was a difficult decision that Justice Foley faced and he did the best the court could under the circumstances. Ultimately, any conviction obtained by my office must be made with the rights of the accused safeguarded, so we understand the ruling; itâs unfortunate, but Iâm ready to retry the case as soon as we get a new trial date.
Moore and Jones each face a charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a shooting on March 26, 2020, outside 707 Jefferson St. in Jamestown. A town man drove to UPMC Chautauqua for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries after he was apparently hit on the head.
An investigation by the Jamestown Police Department resulted in six arrests, including Moore and Jones.
During a search of the Jefferson Street home, investigators reportedly found four illegally held handguns along with 200 rounds, 12 pounds of marijuana, 1.2 ounces of cocaine and approximately $ 4,000 in cash.
The couple were charged in August 2020.
Attorney David Roggenbaum represented Moore while the County Public Defender’s Office represented Jones. The cancellation of the trial followed more than a week of jury selection.
“It is always disappointing to devote so much time and effort to the selection of the jury so that it ends in a canceled trial” said Barone, who noted that his office will be prepared if another trial is scheduled.