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9:28 AM Wed, Sept. 19th

Judge declares mistrial in Solomon case

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge William T. Kiger declared a mistrial Friday morning in the Steve Solomon trial.

Solomon of Williamson Valley faces 15 counts of aggravated assault and endangerment after seven people riding horses past his property on Oct. 5, 2008, said someone shot at them. Two riders said they saw Steve Solomon shoot in their direction, but Solomon denies shooting, according to the statement read to jurors in Judge Kiger's courtroom on Wednesday during jury selection.

"The judge declared a mistrial this morning, because he found that information had been introduced through the testimony of witnesses that is not relevant to the case," said Sheila Polk, Yavapai County Attorney.

"One of the witnesses as of 4:30 yesterday violated the judge's pretrial order," said Thomas Kelly, lead defense attorney for Steve Solomon.

Kelly said Kiger had told witnesses before the trial that they were not to mention any prior incidents.

"At 4:30, I moved for a mistrial with prejudice," Kelly said. "Judge Kiger called a recess that lasted all night and declared a mistrial this morning."

Polk said Kiger has set a hearing for Friday, Nov. 13, at 9 a.m. "to discuss further where the case goes from here - whether to set a new trial date and when that would be."

If Kiger declares it a mistrial with prejudice, then the case against Solomon could be dismissed, Kelly said. If Kiger declares it a mistrial without prejudice, then a new jury trial could go forward, Kelly said.