Miller v. State

In Miller v. State, 904 P.2d 344 (Wyo. 1995), the Court ruled that the trial court abused its discretion when it overruled the defendant's motion for a mistrial. In that case, a potential juror, in the presence of the rest of the panel, had indicated that Miller previously had stolen the juror's horse. Id. at 351. The trial court had denied a defense motion for a mistrial, and, although the potential juror was excused for cause, the court had failed to instruct the jury to disregard the statement or take any other corrective action. Id. at 352. The Court held that those circumstances invoked a constitutional presumption of unfair bias and demonstrated an abuse of discretion by the trial court. Id. at 354.