Juror causes mistrial in Chattanooga murder case
Taxpayers will foot the bill for another murder trial, after a juror decided to ignore the judge's rules.
Kaylon Bailey, 36, is accused of shooting 35-year-old Kima Evans to death on Cambridge Street in January 2012.
Only about an hour into deliberations Thursday, Judge Rebecca Stern called one juror back in the courtroom and he admitted to breaking the jury rules.
Judge Stern says his actions left no choice, but to declare it a mistrial.
"It's like 'ta ta ta ta,' like that," Anita Evans said.
Anita Evans took the stand Wednesday, describing what she heard in the moments after her son, Kima Evans was gunned down.
Later she looked defendant Kaylon Bailey in the eyes and let something slip.
"Didn't even know you was out of jail," she said.
Judge Stern quickly told her to be careful. That's because a defendant's criminal history is not allowed to be a factor. But, that little mention of "jail" was enough to spark one juror's interest.
"I need to see just that juror," said Judge Stern.
"I did look at my iPad, yes," the juror said.
"Alright, do you know the instruction was not to do any research," Judge Stern asked.
"I understand that," he replied.
"Ok, then why would you have done that," Judge Stern asked.
You could see Bailey look around in confusion, and then turn to his attorney, who was repeating Judge Stern.
"I think this is a serious problem," Judge Stern said.
During deliberation, the juror told the rest of the jury about his online research that revealed Bailey's served time before. The jury foreman alerted the judge.
"And did he say what he found," Judge Stern asked the foreman.
"He said he'd been in prison eight years," the jury foreman said.
"Alright, I'm going to have to declare this a mistrial," Judge Stern said.
The prosecution said they couldn't comment. Neighboring counties' District Attorney Michael Taylor says it's happened to him before, too, and the judge isn't left with a much of a choice but to declare a mistrial.
"When you've got a juror doing their own investigation so to speak on the Internet, then you get a tainted issue there," 12th Judicial District Attorney Michael Taylor said.
It's up to the judge's discretion on how to handle juror misconduct. He could be held in contempt and face fines or possible jail time.
"You turn in your badge and I'm going to excuse you permanently from this jury," Judge Stern said.
She just told him to leave.
"If you were on trial, you wouldn't want someone bringing up stuff you did in the past that had nothing to do with what you're on trial for. That's not fair," Judge Stern said.
The costs a retrial imposes varies dramatically, but the state does reimburse the county for trying felony cases.
Kaylon Bailey was sent back to jail to await his retrial on October 8th.
Channel 3 did talk to the victim's grandmother.
She dreads going through another emotional trial, but said she believes justice will be served when it's all said and done.