Criminal Justice

Second mistrial in murder case declared after prosecutor mistakenly texts judge

woman texting

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A mistrial has been declared in a case involving a man charged with killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son—after a prosecutor allegedly complained about the judge’s ruling in a group text message that included the judge.

Assistant State Attorney Katya Palmiotto sent a text complaining about Broward County, Florida, Judge Peter Holden’s refusal to allow a 911 call as evidence against defendant Corey Gorden to a group of current and former homicide prosecutors, according to the Associated Press, which cited earlier coverage from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Holden, a former homicide prosecutor who was appointed to the bench in 2018, was still a member of the group, the Associated Press said. Because lawyers are prohibited from talking with the judge unless the defendant’s lawyers are present, defense lawyer Michael Gottlieb filed for a mistrial Wednesday.

Gottlieb has reportedly filed another motion to dismiss the case.

Another judge declared a mistrial in May after prosecutors asked a witness about Gorden’s refusal to give a statement, the Associated Press said. He is accused of killing the young boy in 2015 and then returning him to his mother in his car seat.

Jurors in criminal trials are not allowed to consider a defendant’s silence as evidence of guilt, the Associated Press said.

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