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Mistrial declared in Wedekamm case

By Staff | Sep 16, 2009

Judge Mark Karl declared a mistrial on Monday in the Circuit Court of Tyler County in the case of Steven D. Wedekamm due to the inability to seat 20 jurors free of legal disqualification.

Wedekamm, 40, of 313 Hickman Run Road, Sistersville, was charged with one felony count of child abuse resulting in injury alleged to have occurred in 2007.

Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee commented on the ruling, “The law requires that 20 jurors, free of any legal disqualification, be selected for a felony criminal case. Once that has occurred, the state exercises two preemptive strikes, and the defendant exercises six, so that the jury is composed of 12 members to hear the evidence and render a verdict. Today, we were unable to seat 20 jurors who were free of legal disqualification.”

He continued, “In a small community, it is inevitable that this will occur from time to time. We appreciate all those who appeared for service on juries. It is an important service, and we could not function without people taking time out of their activities to serve. I thank all those who appeared.”

Wedekamm’s case has been continued until the next term of court on Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.