Judge denies motion for mistrial on third day of Smith trial

Attorney Adam Johnson, assisting the defense of Byron Smith, accused of first-degree murder, moved for mistrial based on defense not having copies of Nathaiel Pearlson’s reports. Pearlson, a forensic scientist with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), gave testimony Tuesday as to evidence collected from Smith’s home the two days following the shooting deaths of Nick Brady and Haile Kifer.
    Wednesday morning, Defense Attorney Steven Meshbesher questioned Pearlson and during the morning break, the motion for mistrial was made. Meshbesher had been referring to conclusions made by Pearlson in regard to the bullet, blood and residue evidence found.
    Pearlson’s testimony was based on the conclusions he had written 1 1/2 years ago, when he processed evidence the two days after the 11-22-12 shootings.
    The conclusions did not include the notes he had taken and kept to arrive at the conclusions. He estimated there were about 100 pages of notes.
    Johnson said the state should have provided Pearlson’s findings as discovery.
    Assistant Prosecutor Brent Wartner objected to the mistrial, saying the state had provided all the evidence and had even made available to the defense the opportunity to view evidence not in the state’s possession, but available through other agencies. The state was not required “to carry it to them” he said.
    Anderson denied the mistrial, but offered to have copies of Pearlson’s notes, as well as time to talk to Pearlson about the notes before the jury was reconvened.

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