Mistrial Declared in Oklahoma City Domestic Abuse Case

An Oklahoma County domestic abuse case ended in mistrial last week due to juror misconduct.  

Juror Marvin Brown, Jr., 27, appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and possibly drugs when deputies picked him up at his home when he failed to appear in court.   Brown, who had previously been an hour and a half late to court, was removed from the jury and arrested for contempt of court.

A Unique Domestic Abuse Case

While most Oklahoma City domestic violence trials do not make headlines, the unique aspects of the trial brought media attention to the case.  Richard B. Wise, 43, was charged with beating his girlfriend after she caught him having sex with another woman in the parking lot of a nightclub. 

The alleged victim, Gina Larsen, 36, told police and hospital personnel that Wise handcuffed, beat, and choked her on February 17.  However, after he was charged with felony kidnapping, felony domestic abuse, and misdemeanor domestic abuse, Larsen recanted her story. (read more about specific charges related to domestic abuse)

She testified at trial that her injuries were the result of consensual "rough sex" that she and Wise enjoyed as a part of a sexual fetish.  Larsen claimed that she and Wise were "master and slave" as part of the BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadomasochism) lifestyle.

While Wise's attorney and the alleged victim herself argue that Larsen's injuries were not the result of domestic abuse, prosecutors have determined to pursue the case, even after the mistrial. Because the judge did not provide alternate jurors in the trial, the jury consisted of only eleven members after the removal of Marvin Brown, Jr.  Wise was given the option of letting the remaining jurors decide the case, but he refused, resulting in a mistrial. 

The domestic abuse case is scheduled to be re-tried in February or April 2011.  Wise is to remain in jail until his trial after the judge revoked bail because of Wise's misconduct during a break in testimony.  For more information visit the Phillips & Associates homepage.

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