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Alabama judge declares mistrial after juror’s web search

September 20, 2018

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A judge in Alabama has declared a mistrial in a murder case after a juror searched the internet for the defendant’s criminal record.

Al.com reported Jefferson County Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam declared a mistrial in the case of 33-year-old Fessor Raynard Pearson, who was on trial in the 2015 shooting death of 56-year-old James Morgan.

Jurors began deliberations in Pearson’s case. The newspaper reported that court records show a juror used a cellphone to search the internet to determine Pearson’s criminal background and told other jurors.

Pulliam said she had no choice but to declare a mistrial. A new trial for Pearson is set Nov. 26.

Police said Morgan died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Pearson’s lawyer said police ignored evidence pointing to another suspect.

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Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews

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