Judge Declares Mistrial in Williston Crab Fest Shooting
BRONSON - A judge has granted a mistrial in the case of the man accused of shooting up the Williston crab fest in April.
Devonte Ocasio requested and was granted a speedy trial after being accused of killing one person and shooting four others.
But now - after just one full day of testimony - the trial has been thrown out because of an oversight.
The State Attorney's Office is taking the blame for the early ending of this week's trial, after they forgot to give information about a police report to the defense in time to prepare.
Darry Lloyd, State Attorney's Office: "Any and all information...which is called the discovery information...is supposed to be delivered to the defendant."
That information surrounds the siezure of the firearm in this case, when the defendant was stopped and arrested in Marion County days after the crab festival.
The defense made the request for the mistrial saying they would have presented their case differently if they had the report in time.
Now Ocasio waits until a new trial is scheduled, and both sides go back to the drawing board.
Darry Lloyd, State Attorney's Office: "It gives us more time. It gives the state more time...it gives the defense more time to put on proper cases. This was a speedy trial. We were trying to do what is required of a marathon in a sprint."
Judge Stan Griffis - who was in charge of the trial - ruled that the discovery violation was an accident.
Had it been determined the prosecution purposely kept this report from the defense, that would have been ruled misconduct, and the defendant would have walked away because you cannot try a person for the same crime twice.
Though that was not the case here, a mistrial costs money because witnesses must be transported again for testimony and experts brought in again.
The family suffers too as the whole process is begun once more.
Oocasio did waive his right for a speedy trial the second time around and he will remain in jail until a new trial date is set.
When the new trial does get underway... a new jury must also be selected.
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