A mistrial has been declared in the first-degree murder case of Michael Alan Humphries II as his attorney remains hospitalized.
Humphries, 38, is charged in the Feb. 12, 2018, shooting death of 24-year-old Alistair Smith, of Unionville, which took place inside Wendells’s Place Laundromat on Route 20 in Locust Grove.
Humphries’ trial began in Orange County Circuit Court last Friday with jury selection and had been expected to continue Monday. However, defense attorney David Randle emailed Judge Dale Durrer and Orange County Commonwealth Attorney Diana O’Connell early Monday morning to inform them he unexpectedly had been admitted to the hospital.
Judge Durrer continued the trial until Wednesday morning.
However, following a conference call between the parties later Wednesday morning, Randle said he expects to remain hospitalized at least through Sunday or Monday of next week, according to O’Connell. She said after Randle spoke with Humphries by phone, he advised the court he was moving for a mistrial based on the impossibility of the defense being ready to try the case before Tuesday of next week. The trial had been scheduled through Oct. 7.
O’Connell noted for the record that the commonwealth was prepared to try the case as originally scheduled, but recognized the severity of Randle’s medical condition and his inability to proceed as scheduled.
The court will convene Thursday, Oct. 10, at 1:30 p.m. to discuss rescheduling the trial.
O’Connell said the commonwealth has subpoenaed more than 40 witnesses, including forensic experts, law enforcement officers from multiple agencies and representatives from telecommunications and tech companies, all of whom would need to be available for a weeklong trial.