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Mistrial Declared in Murder Case

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A mistrial was declared in a case against Brian Hyde, a Belizean who was charged with the murder of three persons in the US. He is accused of fatally stabbing 37-year-old Dora Pitts, 17-year-old Starlette Pitts and 19-year-old Michael Kelly at their home in Florida back in 2015. Lee County Judge Margaret Steinbeck declared a mistrial after the testimony of Dorrien Pitts. Pitts inadvertently testified about Hyde’s immigration status. While Hyde’s immigration status is irrelevant, Judge Steinbeck said it is potentially prejudicial. At times a judge can instruct a jury to ignore a statement that is made, but there are some things that jury instruction can’t correct, especially that immigration is a hot-button issue in the US. Reports from the US did not indicate if Hyde would be freed but prior to the trial, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement filed a request with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for notification if they intend to release the individual from custody. If he is released, he will be deported to Belize.

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