North Dakota v. LyonsAnnotate this Case
George Lyons appealed from a judgment entered after a jury found him guilty of gross sexual imposition. Lyons argued there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction, and the district court committed obvious error by not declaring a mistrial after the jury heard prohibited testimony. The North Dakota Supreme Court, after review of the trial court record, determined that record reflected that at the request of defense counsel the court struck the neighbor’s later nonresponsive testimony and gave a curative instruction. Lyons did not request a mistrial, but indicated he was satisfied with the court’s admonishment. The Supreme Court was thus satisfied the trial court did not deviate from established precedent in striking the responses and giving curative instructions. Therefore, the Supreme Court concluded the trial court’s failure to grant a mistrial on its own motion did not constitute a clear deviation from applicable law.