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Second mistrial declared in Jefferson Parish murder case

On Wednesday, a state judge in Jefferson Parish declared mistrial for a second time in a murder trial due to the testimony of a detective. The defendant, a 40-year-old Harvey man, is charged with second degree murder and armed robbery stemming from the 2007 death of Javier Sanchez.

Sanchez was, according to investigators, abducted by three men seeking to steal cocaine and money, was shot and his body dumped on Interstate 510 in eastern New Orleans. he defendant is allegedly tied to the murder though finger prints left behind in Sanchez's apartment.

The first trial ended in mistrial when a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Detective volunteered information that a suspect had passed a polygraph test, which was declared to be inadmissible. The recent mistrial was declared on account of that same detective's statement that the defendant admitted going to Sanchez's apartment in order to "hit a lick," street talk for robbing a drug dealer. The jury was not supposed to hear about it, though, as he had not waived his right to remain silent at the time he made the statement.

So far, there has been one conviction in the case. A friend of the defendant, a Baton Rouge man, was convicted of second-degree murder and armed robbery last November and is serving a mandatory life sentence in prison.

The defendant had been jailed while awaiting trial for about four years until October, when he was able to post bond and be released. His attorney said he is attempting to have the charges thrown out.

Source: nola.com, "Detective's testimony triggers a second mistrial in Jefferson Parish murder case," Paul Purpura, September 26, 2012

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