Mistrial Declared in Saul Mendez Murder Trial - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/9/07

Mistrial Declared in Saul Mendez Murder Trial

Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff's Dept. Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff's Dept.

The Saul Mendez murder trial ended in mistrial on its first day of testimony.

Mendez is accused of killing Ozell Craft Jr., a Tulia preacher. Craft's body was found at his home in the 1900 block of 42nd Street, last September.

A jury was seated Monday and Tuesday was only the first day of testimony.

Judge Brad Underwood declared a mistrial, just minutes after a female witness for the prosecution accused Mendez of trying to kill her. Her comment was made from the witness stand, and violated Mendez's right to a fair trial.

The victim's family broke down following the announcement.

"I've very sick, and disgusted and sad that this mistrial had to come about," said Lakeisha Craft, the victim's niece. "But I know justice will be served because there's a man that I know is seeing this all."

Prosecutors say they will retry the case. Jury selection is scheduled to begin again on Monday.

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