Fort Worth

After 5-Month Delay, Mistrial Declared in Fort Worth Capital Murder Case

Jury was impaneled in March but trial was delayed because of Coronavirus

NBC 5/Dallas Co. Sheriff's Dept.

A mistrial was declared Monday in a capital murder trial in Fort Worth that had been delayed because of the Coronavirus.

A judge made the decision after learning that only 10 jurors were available to move forward in the trial of James Earnest Floyd, Jr.

Floyd was arrested three years ago in the murder of 69-year-old John Porter inside his Fort Worth home.

The jury had just been impaneled in March after a selection process that lasted about two months.

The trial was put on hold before opening arguments because of the coronavirus and was set to start again this week.

However, the judge declared two of the jurors were “disabled” and unable to do their work, said Dale Smith, deputy criminal division chief at the Tarrant County District Attorney.

Smith said he could not elaborate on why the jurors were no longer available to serve.

He added prosecutors will start the proceedings again and another jury will be chosen.

“Our plan is to prosecute the case,” Smith said.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Porter and his wife were shot in their home on Cool Spring Drive in March 2017. Floyd allegedly stole their vehicle which was later discovered near Floyd’s home in Terrell.

Porter’s wife Diane survived her injuries.

Floyd is currently in the Dallas County jail facing charges in a separate criminal case, Smith said.

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