Following Judge John Simpson ruling in favor of the motion for mistrial issued by defense counsel for Georgia State Trooper A.J. Scott, prosecutors say they anticipate retrying this case and look forward to a fair trial that provides justice for the victims and their families.
“I do disagree with the court’s analysis about this being a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights and the court’s characterization of this office and the public servants who work in it,” Coweta Judicial Circuit, District Attorney Herb Cranford said. “We are simply trying to get justice which includes honoring every defendant’s constitutional rights.”
Cranford defended against the suggestion that prosecutor’s suppressed evidence that may have benefited the defense in this trial. With-holding evidence was the main reason that Judge Simpson cited when approving the mistrial motion Friday.
“As an office we talk about exculpatory evidence and erring on the side of turning over all evidence in our case. That is why we have an open file policy where the defense gets a copy of everything in our file. And in this case, the defense did get a copy of everything in our file,” Cranford explained. “The best practice is and would have been to make sure the defense knew about the new theory the troopers had about the location of one of the victims in the car. We regularly provide information to defense attorneys much more beneficial to the defense than the information at issue here. We have a duty to do so and we take pride in executing that duty.”