A Muscogee County judge declared a mistrial Wednesday afternoon in the case of a man accused of raping a woman during a 2009 home invasion.
Andre Grier, 26, was testifying in his own defense when Assistant District Attorney Doug Breault asked him a question about his failure to testify at a preliminary hearing. That question led defense attorney Stacey Jackson to object, arguing that Superior Court Chief Judge John Allen should declare a mistrial, Breault said.
“We were cross-examining him and I asked the question, isn’t it true that you had the chance to tell your version at the preliminary hearing and you didn’t testify, or words to that effect,” Breault said. “Arguably, the prosecution is not allowed to comment on the right to remain silent.”
Allen decided that the question was a serious error, and that the only solution was to declare a mistrial, Breault said.
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Prosecutors allege that Grier was with three other suspects on June 16, 2009, when they burst into an East Heights Drive apartment, forced three men to the floor and robbed them. Three of the four suspects then raped a 19-year-old woman in a walk-in closet as a 10-month-old baby slept nearby.
Attorneys on both sides of the case agreed that Grier’s DNA was found on the woman. Jackson, however, told jurors on Tuesday that his client dealt drugs and had a sex-for-drugs exchange that night.
Breault said he will retry the case.