AP NEWS

Mistrial declared in DUI case

August 10, 2018

A witness disobeying a judge’s order caused a mistrial in a driving under the influence case.

Somerset County President Judge D. Gregory Geary granted the mistrial in Jacob Marker’s two-day driving under the influence trial after a witness on the stand testified about prior acts against the judge’s orders.

“A commonwealth witness in violation of the court instruction and order testified to a matter that was prohibited, and therefore a mistrial was granted,” said defense attorney Patrick Svonavec of Somerset.

The 27-year-old Somerset man faces charges of driving under the influence and summary vehicle code violations from an incident Oct. 5 along Somerset Pike.

According to court documents, a man called police and reported that the driver of a black Chevrolet truck struck his wall and then parked at the nearby Jordan Tree Service.

He told a Conemaugh Township police detective that he saw a gray Toyota SUV pull beside the truck and then leave.

Police found the disabled truck at the tree service, but no one was there. A message was sent to other law enforcement to be on the lookout for the gray Toyota SUV. Police also provided a description of the owner and operator of the black Chevy truck. Once located, that person was to be taken into custody if he appeared under the influence.

Marker was taken into custody later that day at Sheetz along North Center Avenue in Somerset Township.

The state attorney general’s office is prosecuting this case.

Deputy Attorney General Bobbi Jo Wagner, of the Pittsburgh office, who presented the prosecution’s case-in-chief, declined comment and referred a reporter to the attorney general’s press office.

Spokesperson Joe Grace said, “The commonwealth will retry this case.” A statement also made in the courtroom.

The next criminal trial term is in October.

AP RADIO
Update hourly