While working to seat a jury for the trial of Timothy J. Channell, 49, of Jacksonburg, on Monday, Judge Mark A. Karl declared a mistrial.
The surprising move came during the questioning process of potential jurors. When asked if anyone in the jury pool knew Tim Channell or any of his family or was familiar with the case, one woman said she knew Channell's mother very well and made a statement that seemed prejudice toward Channell.
At that point John Gainer, Channell's attorney, asked for an "on the record" bench conference. Gainer then made a formal motion for a mistrial based on the woman's statement. After a break that lasted about 10 minutes, Karl declared a mistrial.
Channel waived his right to a trial in this term of court and Judge Karl set a return date of June 11, at which time he will set a new trial date. Channell was allowed to remain free on bond and home confinement.
Channell is facing charges of malicious assault, a felony, and second-offense domestic battery, a misdemeanor. The charges were handed down by the October 2013 grand jury and he has been free on $20,000 bond. He recently had his bond revoked for allegedly making contact with potential witnesses However, on May 23 Karl agreed to reinstate Channell's bond and place him on home confinement.
During that May 23 hearing Prosecutor Luke Furbee agreed to the bond being reinstated as long it be ordered the defendant have no contact with any of the states witnesses. Judge Karl told Channell not to have any contact whatsoever with the states witnesses. He said, "Do you hear me?" Channell affirmed that he did. Karl then gave Channell a stern warning that he should take a good look at trying to resolve the matter before it goes to trial, he said you are looking at a life sentence if convicted.