Mistrial Declared In Case Of Preacher Charged With Beating Gay Man After Juror Shares “Documents”

The Associated Press reports:

A judge held a juror in contempt and declared a mistrial Tuesday in the case of a North Carolina church minister charged in the beating of a congregant who says he was attacked to expel his “homosexual demons.”

Superior Court Judge Gary Gavenus immediately sentenced the juror, Perry Shade Jr., to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Gavenus said Shade brought in three documents Tuesday and handed them out to his fellow jurors. One of the documents was North Carolina case law.

Gavenus said he wasn’t sure when a new trial would be scheduled for Brooke Covington, 58, a longtime minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina. Covington faced up to two years in prison if convicted on charges of kidnapping and assaulting former member Matthew Fenner in January 2013.

“You are in direct criminal contempt,” Gavenus said, ordering the bailiff to handcuff Shade, 71. “Thirty days in jail and $500 fine. You are under arrest. Get him out of here,” Gavenus said.

During jury selection last week, Shade said Covington’s lawyer, David Teddy, once represented him in a case, but he didn’t elaborate. Prosecutors and Teddy allowed Shade to be on the jury.