Mistrial is denied

Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2006

Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins ruled against motions for a mistrial and showing sexually explicit photos of the defendant on Saturday in the murder trial of 17-year-old Rachelle Waterman.

Defense attorney Steven Wells called for a mistrial when he discovered that three witnesses had watched testimony via video-link in another courtroom. Dr. Franc Fallico, the state's chief medical examiner, and two investigators violated the court's rule that excludes witnesses from watching others testifying because it may alter their testimony.

Collins ruled against a mistrial because she said the testimony given consisted of undisputed facts about the murder of Lauri Waterman.

Ketchikan District Attorney Stephen West asked Collins on Saturday to allow the state to introduce sexually explicit photographs of Rachelle Waterman, which were found on the computer of former lover and alleged co-conspirator Jason Arran.

Collins ruled the photos are too "inflammatory" to introduce but may be described and discussed by witnesses.

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