New trial sought after juror tweets during murder trial of former Mercer Island resident
By REPORTER STAFF
Mercer Island Reporter Staff
May 17, 2012 · 12:33 PM
Michiel Oakes, convicted of killing former Mercer Island resident Mark Stover, is seeking a new trial after it was discovered one of the jurors was tweeting during the trial.
The the paperwork filed Oakes' attorney says a new trial is needed because of 'trial errors' after the jury was told not to discuss the case, saying the tweets violated due process and the right to a fair and impartial jury.
The 19-year-old juror from Anacortes sent approximately 20 messages during the trial.
Stover, a well known dog trainier, was killed in 2009 in Anacortes. The trial, which was done in Skagit County in 2010, found Oakes guilty. He was sentenced to 26 years in the state penitentiary.
It's believed this is the first case in Washington state to be brought to an appeal because of a juror tweeting while the case was ongoing.
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