State v. GouveiaAnnotate this Case
Defendant was charged with manslaughter, and the case went to trial. After deliberating, the jurors sent a note to the court expressing concern for their safety. The circuit court subsequently declared a mistrial based on manifest necessity due to the jurors’ concerns about their safety. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing (1) the circuit court erred in finding manifest necessity and declaring a mistrial, and (2) further prosecution was prohibited on double jeopardy grounds. The circuit court denied the motion, and the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the presumption of prejudice was not overcome beyond a reasonable doubt, and therefore, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in determining that manifest necessity existed for a mistrial; and (2) accordingly, the court properly denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds.