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Mistrial declared in high-profile Waterloo murder case due to procedural error

In a significant development in a Waterloo murder case, Seneca County Judge Barry Porsch declared a mistrial on Wednesday due to a procedural error during the trial of Wayne Ellison Jr. and Christopher Kesterson.


The error occurred when the court clerk failed to administer the oath to the second jury panel before the voir dire process, a crucial step in jury selection, according to reporting by the Finger Lakes Times.

District Attorney Mark Sinkiewicz noted that this oversight necessitated the mistrial, as proceeding without correcting the error would have led to an appealable reversal and potential double jeopardy issues.


Sinkiewicz emphasized the importance of ensuring a conviction that can withstand appellate scrutiny. The trial, which began with jury selection this week, has now been rescheduled for April 15.

The initial trial date in August was postponed due to late discovery evidence presented by the prosecution, leading to a request by defense attorneys for sanctions against Sinkiewicz.