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Monday, August 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

Pasco murder case ends in mistrial after parking-lot incident

By Kristin M. Kraemer Tri-City Herald

A Pasco murder trial came to an abrupt end Wednesday after several reports of a woman yelling about the case while jurors were leaving the courthouse.

Judge Alex Ekstrom declared a mistrial in the case of Chris Pedroza-DeSantiago that started Aug. 14.

Prosecutor Shawn Sant could not be reached Wednesday evening.

Pedroza-DeSantiago was accused of fatally shooting Juan C. Melgoza, 42, in front of Fiesta Foods in February 2015.

On Tuesday, a woman who had been in the Franklin County courtroom was yelling and swearing in the courthouse rotunda and was ordered by a bailiff to leave the building.

After court on Tuesday, the woman reportedly was in the parking lot talking loudly on her phone when several jurors heard her discussing a witness, Pedroza-DeSantiago’s ex-girlfriend.

The jurors told the bailiff on Wednesday what they’d seen the day before. A defense attorney also reported seeing and overhearing the woman

A new trial date is set for Sept. 11.

Pedroza-DeSantiago is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and first-degree unlawful possession of a gun.

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