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Murder Trial Of Olympian Simone Biles' Brother Ends In A Mistrial After Jurors Inadvertently Receive Legal Paperwork
Jurors erroneously received paperwork filed by Tevin Biles-Thomas' defense attorneys requesting the judge instruct jurors they could also consider self-defense in the case, however, the motion was denied and not supposed to be a part of the deliberations.
The trial against Olympic gymnast Simone Biles’ brother has ended in a mistrial after jurors inadvertently received paperwork they weren’t supposed to see.
A judge declared the mistrial Monday as jurors were entering their third day of deliberations in the murder case against Tevin Biles-Thomas, according to Cleveland.com.
Biles-Thomas is charged in connection with a 2018 New Year’s Eve party shooting in Cleveland that left three men dead, including Biles-Thomas’ own cousin, Devaughn Gibson.
The jury erroneously received copies of legal briefs exchanged between prosecutors and Biles-Thomas’ attorneys intermingled with trial evidence that they had been given to weigh their verdict.
The paperwork included a request from defense attorney Joe Patituce asking the judge to instruct the jury that they could consider Biles-Thomas had acted in self-defense at the time of the shooting, but the motion was ultimately denied by Common Pleas Court Judge Joan Synenberg.
The mistrial was declared after all 12 jurors told Synenberg the information contained in the legal briefs had impacted their deliberations. It’s not clear how the paperwork got to the jurors.
Oxygen.com request for comment from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office was not immediately returned.
A new trial for the U.S. Army soldier was scheduled to begin Wednesday with jury selection, The New York Times reports. Biles-Thomas is facing charges of murder, homicide, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury after Gibson, 23, DelVaunte Johnson, 19, and Toshaun Banks, 21, were killed at the house party.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and Cleveland Division of Police said in a statement in 2019 that the shooting took place around 11:30 p.m. on New Years Eve in 2018 after an “uninvited group walked into the house and an altercation ensued.”
Prosecutors said that during the altercation, Johnson grabbed Gibson by the collar and pushed him against a refrigerator, Cleveland.com reports.
Biles-Thomas—who had been nearby—allegedly intervened and shot Johnson, who returned fire. According to prosecutors, Biles-Thomas fatally shot both Johnson and Banks in the ensuing gunfire.
Gibson was struck by bullets fired by Johnson and Biles-Thomas, but Johnson’s gunshot was the shot that had killed him, prosecutors said.
Patituce told jurors that Biles-Thomas did not have a gun at the party.
While no physical evidence linked him to the shooting, prosecutors relied on testimony from two witnesses from the party, according to Cleveland.com. One man agreed to testify against Biles-Thomas in exchange for a reduction in the charges against him in his own case, but seemed to be less certain on the stand, admitting in cross examination that he had not actually seen Biles-Thomas pull the trigger, according to Cleveland.com.
Another witness, who was wounded in the arm by a gunshot, also testified but said she never saw the gunman’s face.
Shortly after the news of her brother’s arrest, Simone Biles said on Twitter that she was “still having a hard time processing” the arrest.
“My heart aches for everyone involved, especially for the victims and their families,” she wrote. “There is nothing that I can say that will heal anyone’s pain, but I do want to express my sincere condolences to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy.”
Simone Biles recently made headlines of her own after she became the first woman ever to successfully land a Yurchenko double pike vault as she prepares for the upcoming Olympics, according to NPR.