Judge denies mistrial request in John Swallow trial

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SALT LAKE CITY — The judge overseeing the corruption trial of former Utah Attorney General John Swallow has denied a request by his lawyers for a mistrial.

The defense motioned for a mistrial after a mix-up in jury instructions.

Jurors at about 11 a.m. Thursday indicated they had a question, asking which charges were dismissed. Apparently, their instructions included a charge that was dismissed.

Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow listens during his trial at the Matheson Courthouse Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)

Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow listens during his trial at the Matheson Courthouse Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)

Count 4, a bribery charge, is not dismissed, but the jury instruction indicated otherwise. Count 6, a money laundering charge, was dismissed but was left on the jury instruction.

“Uh oh,” prosecutor Chou Chou Collins said.

Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills asked the lawyers to come up with a solution. Attorneys agreed on an explanation about which charges were dismissed, as well as an admonition to the jury not to consider evidence tied to dismissed charges.

Defense attorney Scott Williams said the dismissed charge that was mistakenly left in the jury instruction pertains to Jeremy Johnson, who did not testify.

“It’s just simply too concerning, too prejudicial in too many ways,” Williams said.

After taking the issue under advisement, Judge Hruby-Mills issued a ruling around 1:20 p.m., denying the defense’s motion.

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