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Supreme Court upholds new Strine trial

The Washington Supreme Court ruled today that a Spokane County judge was correct in ordering a new trial for Spokane stock broker who was charged with vehicular homicide for the June, 2, 2009 crash that killed a woman and paralyzed her husband.

Evidence presented at trial showed that 45-year-old Jon Strine had a blood alcohol content of .20 percent when he crashed his Mercedes broadside into a motorcycle in downtown Spokane. The crash killed 48-year-old Lorri Keller, an elementary school secretary, and paralyzed her husband, Gary Keller.

A jury in 2011 deliberated for two days in February 2011 before telling Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen that they had reached a unanimous verdict of not guilty. But when Eitzen polled the jury, half said that not guilty was not their verdict.

Eitzen declared a mistrial, but defense attorney Carl Oreskovich argued that the decision amounted to double jeopardy. However, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld Eitzen’s ruling, which opens the door for a new trial.

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