Bradford manslaughter case ends in mistrial after juror researches online

A manslaughter and assault case ended in a mistrial this week after a juror conducted online research. Graeme Benjamin/ Global News

A manslaughter and assault case ended in a mistrial on Wednesday, after one of the jurors researched the case online.

The trial was in regards to the death of a 56-year-old man, James McCallen, dating back to 2015.

According to police, McCallen and his 23-year-old son were involved in an altercation while they were walking home from a bar in September 2015. As a result of the fight, McCallen was taken to the hospital where he later died of head injuries.

23-year-old Julian Zenczuk, 22-year-old James Paniccia, 25-year-old Ebenezer Ampadu and 23-year-old Jillian Clare had been charged with assault and manslaughter.

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The juror admitted to driving to the scene of the crime, and subsequently looking up information online about the accused. The juror told lawyers and presiding judge Justice Guy DiTomaso that the research was conducted to better understand the case.

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This was done despite explicit instructions from the judge not to do any research outside of court.

Defence counsel requested a mistrial. Justice DiTomaso agreed, and the proceedings were halted.

The four accused are scheduled to appear back in court on May 11 to determine next steps.

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