Collett murder trial: Wednesday motion for mistrial denied

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

George Weldon, lead defense counsel in the Shane Clifton Collett murder trial, on Wednesday morning moved for a mistrial based on statements posted on social media.

Weldon’s motion was related to statements posted Tuesday night on the Spalding County Discussion Page, a local public forum on Facebook.

Comments attributed to the personal Facebook page of TJ Lee criticized a photo of the jury The Grip published Monday evening. Comments associated with that same page later alleged Lee is related to two of the jurors serving on the case, and that he resides with one.

Later comments alleged Lee had engaged in conversations with a juror regarding not only the photo, but how the juror felt about serving on a murder trial.

Spalding County Superior Court Judge Tommy Hankinson questioned the jury, asking if anyone knew Lee. A male juror affirmed he did and later identified  Lee as his son. The juror also confirmed they reside in the same home.

When questioned about whether he had engaged in a conversation with Lee, the juror said he had discussed only the photo.

Asked if that had affected his ability to be a fair and impartial juror, he responded, “In no way at all. I thought it was unfair that the photo was posted on social media, but as far as being a juror, it hasn’t affected me.”

Hankinson denied Weldon’s motion for a mistrial, stating, “I believe Shakespeare had it right – this is much ado about nothing.”

Another juror was replaced by an alternate Wednesday morning due to a reported sickness.

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Comments

  1. Am I reading this correctly? His father is on the jury?

  2. Mark Rosenthal says:

    Thank you for always doing a great job keeping us updated with local news. I love knowing what is going on with this trial.

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