Homicide trial ends abruptly when juror faints, another admits knowing defendant’s relative
The homicide trial of three men accused of killing a Slippery Rock University student ended abruptly on Tuesday when one juror passed out after seeing blood in a crime scene photo and another said she knew a relative of one of the defendants.
Devele Reid, 24, of Hazelwood and Brandon Lind, 19, and Jon Lee, 17, both of Swissvale, are charged with fatally shooting Jordan Coyner, 20, at his parents’ Kennedy home on June 18, 2012.
Police said the shooting was the result of a drug deal gone bad.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Berquist had just called his first witness in the trial before Common Pleas Judge Philip Ignelzi and was showing the jury a photograph of the crime scene when juror No. 10 passed out when she saw droplets of blood on a linoleum floor. Paramedics transported her to a local hospital.
During the melee, juror No. 3 told a member of Ignelzi’s staff that she needed to talk to the judge and later told him she knew the uncle of one of the defendants. She said several other jurors saw the two interacting at lunch.
Ignelzi dismissed the entire jury pool soon after the revelation and instructed attorneys to pick another jury on Wednesday morning. The trial is expected to last three or four days.
Police said the men went to Coyner’s home to steal cash and drugs. Coyner’s father, Richard, called 911 after he heard one gunshot and found his son lying in blood in the basement.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.