YOUNGSTOWN – Defense attorneys for the murder of Myckle J. Hughes have moved to dismiss Hughes' charges after his trial was postponed last month.
Hughes, 23, of Sixth Street in Campbell is charged with murder, aggravated homicide and aggravated robbery. He is accused of killing 18-year-old Chaney High School graduate Sean Bell in the Oak Street Extension on August 21, 2018. The police initially responded to the location of a car accident, but found Bell shot dead in the vehicle.
Defense attorneys Douglas Taylor and Thomas Zena have filed a motion urging Judge John Durkin to dismiss Hughes' charges, "on the grounds that the continued prosecution … breached the double exposure clause of the fifth amendment of the United States Constitution ".
The double risk, according to law.com, is "trying someone a second time for a crime for which they were previously acquitted".
Mahoning County Prosecutors have not yet responded to the request, and neither has Durkin.
Hughes was scheduled to go to trial on September 15, but the trial was postponed to September 21 and later rolled back to November 9.
The reason for the postponement is unclear as the attorneys and the judge refused to discuss it, but Zena provided guidance in an earlier filing and in the filing on Friday.
Friday's file reads: "When the jury left the courthouse on September 15, 2020, it appears that a member of the alleged victim's family yelled outside the courthouse as the jury left the courthouse and expressed extreme displeasure."
Durkin questioned the jurors and two alternates about the incident, and dismissed a juror and alternate based on what they heard. This left 12 jurors and no deputies on the jury.
On September 18, prosecutors filed a motion to allow a witness to testify in the case via Zoom or another video conferencing platform because he or she was unable to testify in person.
On September 21, Durkin postponed the trial again to November 9, but also declared a mistrial, which meant the trial would take place later with different jurors.
"In cases where a mistrial has been declared, the defendant must not be tried again unless there is an obvious need for the mistrial to be granted," said Hughes' lawyers in their motion.
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