Hailey Murder Case Results in Mistrial on First Day
HAILEY, Idaho (AP) — A judge has declared a mistrial on the first day of a Hailey man's murder trial after the first witness accused the defendant of committing a separate crime.
The Time-News reports that Keith Eric Blankenship must now await a new trial after the mistrial on Thursday. Blankenship has been accused of second-degree murder in connection to the death of 47-year-old Stephan Michael Romanchuk.
Romanchuk's wife reported her husband missing in January 2014. She said he had lent money to a neighbor and later confronted him over the loan.
It was Romanchuk's wife who disrupted the trial. She said she saw Blankenship try to break into a neighbor's house.
District Judge Jonathan Brody ruled that juror should not have heard such an accusation, which would not have been permissible if prevented beforehand.