- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the case of a Georgia man charged with first-degree murder in the death of a roommate whose skeletal remains were found in an Iowa basement in 2012.

Judge Gary McMinimee ordered the mistrial in the case of 55-year-old John Green, of Blairsville, Georgia, according to the Fort Dodge Messenger (https://bit.ly/1yyYtPH). Green was accused of killing 58-year-old Mark Koster, whom he briefly lived with in 2009.

Koster was reported missing in 2010 and declared dead in 2011. Koster’s remains were found buried in the basement of his Sac City home in 2012 after new homeowners began renovations.

Green, who was arrested in northern Florida in March, has pleaded not guilty.

McMinimee made his decision after Sac City Police Chief John Thomsen testified that investigators interviewing suspects “minimize the crime” because “bad people” don’t want to admit their roles.

Defense attorney Charles Kenville objected to the phrase “bad people,” which he argued mischaracterized his client.

McMinimee agreed, saying it wasn’t possible to clarify the question or strike Thomsen’s answer.

“I don’t really think that solves the issue,” McMinimee said.

The judge declared a mistrial and said a new trial would be scheduled.

The trial was moved to Fort Dodge, after a defense attorney argued that pretrial publicity would make it impossible for Green to receive a fair trial in Sac City.

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Information from: The Messenger, https://www.messengernews.net


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