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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011
(BEDFORD) - A mistrial was granted after testimony from a witness could have tainted the jury.
Lawrence County Superior Court II Judge William Sleva granted the defenses' motion for the mistrial. He had no other option.
Sleva said that "the state and defendant are entitled to a fair trail. If either party feels they will not be given that, they can request a mistrial. In this incident, I felt it was the right thing to do."
Jurors began hearing testimony Wednesday morning in the case of 42-year-old Merle Moore. He is accused of molesting a then 12-year-old girl. According to a probable cause affidavit the girl called 911 on July 27, 2010 to report Moore had touched her under her shirt and down her pants.
Moore is charged with two counts of child molesting, both Class A felonies. If found guilty he could face 20 to 50 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
He is being represented by public defenders John Plummer III and John Plummer Jr., Prosecutor Michelle Woodward and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tim Sledd is presenting the case for the state.
Moore's new trial is scheduled for Nov. 29.
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