Mistrial in Fort Smith trial over woman's death
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A judge has declared a mistrial in a first-degree murder case over a woman's strangulation after he concluded that a juror introduced new evidence during deliberations.
Testimony lasted two days and jurors deliberated three hours Wednesday when the judge was told a juror had a concern.
Prosecutors charged 60-year-old Kevyphonh (KEVY-faun) Sounyaphong (SON-ia-fong) in the 2013 death of 50-year-old Sakounsouk (SOCK-un-suk) Vilayhong (VIL-a-hong).
The defense called one witness, who needed a Vietnamese language interpreter. The Southwest Times Record reports (http://is.gd/zAGPh1 ) that a juror who spoke Vietnamese said during deliberations that he or she didn't agree with the translation provided by the interpreter.
Circuit Judge Michael Fitzhugh granted a defense motion for a mistrial, saying the juror's statements were equal to introducing new evidence.Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.