Mistrial declared in Pressler embezzlement case
When the jury was seated Monday to continue the embezzlement and tax fraud trial of Erin Pressler of New Castle, one of the 12 seats remained empty.
One of the jurors had been dismissed, Judge Denise Lynch informed the remaining 11 jurors. Without 12 jurors in a criminal case, she said, she had no choice but to declare a mistrial.
The reasons for the juror’s dismissal were not made public.
Deputy District Attorney Scott Turner said a juror had been dismissed before testimony began, leaving the panel without an alternate.
A new trial was set to begin on April 15.
It’s not first time the case, which started last week, has been delayed.
Pressler, 45, was first accused of stealing roughly $180,000 from her former employer, Designer Door Hardware in Glenwood Springs, in 2012. Other charges followed, including $33,000 in invalid Social Security disability payments and tax fraud. She was originally scheduled for trial in April 2014, but her private attorney withdrew citing “irreconcilable differences.”
Prosecutors continued to build on the case throughout the year, ultimately filing 68 counts against her. In anticipation of the trial, however, the District Attorney’s Office dropped some charges and consolidated the rest into one count of burglary, one count of computer crime, two counts of theft and four counts of filing a false tax return.
Testimony in the case began Thursday and was expected to continue most of this week.
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