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Case Synopsis

A jury convicted Benjardi Batucan Viray for lewdness with a minor. He appealed claiming that there was an improper inclusion of new information at a preliminary hearing and that this inclusion was sufficient to declare a mistrial. The Nevada Supreme Court held that a change in the factual situation is not sufficient to declare a mistrial if the inclusion of new information does not affect the defendant’s substantial rights and the charged offense remained the same. The second issue was whether a court should declare a mistrial when a juror disregards the admonishment of the court to not speak about the case. The Court held that a district court has discretion to remove a juror mid-trial for violation of the court’s admonishment rather than declaring a mistrial.