Court: No new trial after judge mistakenly declares mistrial

The state high court ruled Monday that the judge had erred

ATLANTA (AP) – The Georgia Supreme Court says a new trial cannot be set for a man charged with murder because a judge mistakenly declared a mistrial after his trial had begun.

Geary Otis is accused of killing a 75-year-old woman and injuring a 71-year-old man at an Atlanta senior apartment complex in June 2013.

His lawyer told a jury Otis “just snapped” and asked jurors to find him not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors objected, saying they hadn’t gotten prior notification of the insanity defense.

The judge said the law required the notification and declared a mistrial over Otis’ lawyer’s protest.

The state high court ruled Monday that the judge had erred. Prosecutors plan to ask the justices to reconsider. If they don’t, Otis could be freed in a few weeks.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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