Transcript for Xanax Made Me Do It: Judge Declares Mistrial
Brenda white facing charges of trying to murder her estranged husband by running him over in her suv. She took the stand last week and blamed it all on xanax. Only hours later, the judge declared a mistrial. Our legal team, dan abrams and nancy grace standing by but first here's abc's neal karlinsky. Reporter: For an attack that seemed so clear-cut. A woman caught on surveillance video trying to run dher husband. It is a case filled with unexpected twists. This time a mistrial after a friend of the suspect told the judge she rode an elevator with jurors and overheard them talking about the case. Something they are not supposed to do in court. We pulled the videotape by the surveillance cameras. And that's consistent. Reporter: It's a sudden and surprising road block to a case that hinges on unlikely defense. Brenda white does not dispute she was behind the wheel when she ran her husband down, breaking his legs but she says it's not her fault. She wasn't in her right mind after taking too much anti-anxianti anti-anxiety drug, xanax. He was my best friend, my lover. They did not want to hurt him or kill him. Reporter: The attack behind the wheel was part of it. Hours earlier, she reportedly visited her estranged husband john white at work and played the song angry johnny, mimicking a gun with her hands, while repeating lyrics ♪ I want to kill you ♪ I want to blow you away. Reporter: After the mistrial john white issued a statement saying it's unexpected. It doesn't change what happened and will continue moving forward. Prosecutors don't buy the xanax defense and are expected to retry the case as soon as they can. Let's bring in our legal team. Nancy grace. "Gma" legal analyst, dan abrams. I guess the mistrial kind of a surprise. But the judge didn't have a choice once he heard the evidence. The judge has discretion, remember, the jurors are told probably every time they leave the courtroom, you are not allowed to talk about the case. Don't begin deliberations until the evidence is in. Nevertheless, this is a pretty severe punishment, in effect which is to declare a mistrial to say we'll force this case to start all over again. So, if these jurors were talking about, let's say a witness' red sweater. If they said did you see the witness is wearing a red sweater. But the problem should not declare a mistrial but in this case, the jurors were talking about evidence, testimony, et cetera. I guess the person said the jury was saying they were a friend of the defendant. Well, this is how I interpret it. Number one, I disagree with what dan said. Because once you get up on appeal and say there is a criminal conviction, that's a perfect grounds for an appellate court to reverse the case then you have to try it all over again. As far as the fact that this is brought to the attention of the court by the defendant's friend, if she had heard the juror say, wow, this is a slam dunk, this is a not guilty. I mean, their speculation it would never have been reported. But that's neither here or there, the reality is that the law requires a 12-person jury. They are to deliberate amongst themselves, not off in splintered groups. There are reasons for this. And this would have been overturned on appeal. Speaking of appeal this has already been up on appeal since 2005 because the defense went defense shopping. They first wanted to claim extreme emotional distress. She was so upset, she chased her husband through a parking lot, across a grassy knoll and into a building to run him down. Then when the court got rid of that. They threw that out and debunked it. She went with xanax. We heard that thursday, dan. We're deep into the case. This is not the beginning of the case. The defendant has already testified in the context of this case. So the notion that it would have reached an appellate level and they may have to retry it, again this is a very severe remedy here, and, again, I would think and hope that the judge believed -- remember, the jurors had denied that they were talking about it. Jurors very often deny it, et cetera. They're on video, dan. Yeah, they're on video -- they're on video. But I don't think there's audit yoerks is there? Of course they're going to deny it. There's a contempt fine if you violate the judge's order. Next thing this woman will do is blame pfizer. She's looking to blame anybody but herself other than her husband. Sure, she allegedly caught him on the cell phone telling another woman he loved her. That's true, according to the testimony. But that aside there may be a few women jurors that might let her go. Prosecution wants to bring this up. Does it help that they've seen the defendant on the stand? They've said that. The fact that they've seen, heard the beginning of her testimony, they can use that later. Prosecutors are also saying they think it was the right decision by the judge. This has to be a tough blow for these prosecutors. Yes, maybe they'll have a stronger case. This is not a tough case. This is not a case where in my view it's all that close. It's never good for the delay. That's the defense's number one strategy in every case be it guilty plea or murder trial. Delay, del, delay. I have a mistrial, in an opening statement once. It's not a good thing. Particularly because she was released on bail. That's why there have been very serious questions about the witness who said she heard the conversation in the elevator. You have to believe the judge gave it a lot of credit. Dan and nancy, thanks very much.
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