Motion for mistrial denied in trial of Veon and three former aides

    The jury deliberating the fate of former House Democratic Whip Mike Veon and three one-time aides has requested to work late into the evening.

    The jury deliberating the fate of former Pennsylvania House Democratic Whip Mike Veon and three one-time aides has requested to work late into the evening.

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    Today a judge denied the defense’s motion for a mistrial.

    Lawyers for three of the four defendants contend Judge Richard Lewis violated Pennsylvania law by replacing a sick juror with an alternate and then re-setting deliberations on Friday.

    Joel Sansone, who’s representing Mike Veon, says the switch is definite grounds for appeal.


    Sansone:

    If there’s a guilty verdict on any of the defendants, on any counts, it is now permanently and irreparably tainted.

    Lewis denied the defense’s mistrial motion, saying his reading of the Superior Court decision that sets the framework for a juror switch justifies his ruling.

    He also pointed out the defense did not object to his decision on Friday.

    Defense lawyers are concerned because the jury asked the judge last week whether they could render a verdict if they had come to a decision on one person.

    That was before deliberations started again from scratch.

    The defense is also convinced the jury may be deadlocked.

    The motion quoted a note from the foreman to Judge Lewis saying, “There are barriers and biases that cannot be hurdled.”

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