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Belizean gets mistrial for murder in the US because of immigration status

Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017. 1:29 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: An Belizean man accused of a triple murder in Florida, USA; Bryan Hyde, 21, was given a mistrial after a witness inadvertently testified that Hyde was an illegal immigrant in the country.

Dorrien Pitts, the witness who testified against Hyde and whose wife and daughter Hyde is accused of killing, told the court as part of his testimony that Hyde was held in a Texas detention center for illegally crossing the border.

Hyde’s attorney, Jay Brizel, argued that the fairness of client’s trial had been jeopardized on account of his immigrant status. “Unfortunately, we live in a time where it is a hot-button issue,” Brizel said. “We have half a country who favors building a wall along the Texas border. I don’t believe we can unring this bell.”

The judge, Margaret O. Steinbeck, agreed and declared a mistrial.

In addition to the deaths of 37-year-old Dora Pitts, 17-year-old Starlette Pitts and 19-year-old Michael Kelly, Hyde also faces a charge for the death of the younger Pitts and Kelly’s unborn child. In total, he faces four second-degree murder charges.

The three victims were found with multiple cuts and slashes to their bodies. Sexual assault kits found evidence of semen comparable to Hyde’s on the two women’s bodies. Hyde left 1-year-old A’Ziah Kelly alive in the home. She was found by deputies crying with blood on her, but unhurt.


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