CARROLLTON, Ga. — A judge in Carroll County is deciding whether to declare a mistrial in the case of the now-former State Patrol trooper who is accused of driving recklessly and causing the deaths of two teens who were passengers in another car in 2015.
The defense is accusing prosecutors of withholding evidence that the jury never got to see -- evidence that may have been favorable to the defense.
There have been so many twists and turns in this tragic case. Now, at the last minute, with jurors already deliberating, and deadlocked -- another surprise.
With the jurors out of the courtroom, the attorney for now-former trooper Anthony Scott, Mac Pilgrim, asked for a mistrial. Pilgrim accused prosecutors of withholding information possibly favorable to Scott, information that the jury never got to hear.
Scott was, according to investigators, driving 90 miles per hour down US Highway 27 -- without flashing lights and siren, and not on an emergency call. Authorities said Scott crashed into the car that was carrying the four teens as it turned left in front of Scott.
Both of the teens who were killed were not, according to the new testimony, in the back seat.
Two troopers testified that they analyzed Scott's dashcam video and other evidence, and concluded that 17-year-old Kylie Lindsey was possibly in the front seat, possibly obstructing the teen driver from seeing the oncoming trooper.
But prosecutors never let the jurors hear that information.
State Patrol Sgt. Chad Burrow said that information was important for investigators to know.
"If she was sitting or leaning through the middle console area, or sitting in the front passenger seat, yes, she would have obstructed the driver's view," Burrow said. "My opinion on this case is more than the factor that Trooper Scott was speeding. It's also a factor that Mr. Wall failed to yield the right of way by never attempting to slow or stop."
Scott has claimed all along that the teen driver is to blame.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Swope said he did not withhold the information from the defense, he did not introduce it during the trial because considered it nothing more than speculation, proving nothing.
"The courts have held, time and again, that the actions of the victim are not relevant," Swope said. "Where Ms. Lindsey may or may not have been sitting does not answer the question of does his [Scott’s] speeding and does his recklessness cause those injuries or cause those deaths."
The judge said he needs time to research this one. He said he plans to announce a decision on Friday afternoon -- whether to declare a mistrial or tell the deadlocked jury to keep trying to reach their verdicts.
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