Former Starkey Associate Files for Mistrial

The Federal Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis Photo: KSTP, File
The Federal Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis

February 26, 2018 07:25 PM

One of the four defendants accused of conspiring to steal more than $20 million from Starkey Hearing Technologies has filed a memo in support of a motion for mistrial.

An attorney for W. Jeffrey Taylor, a former Starkey business associate, argues in the memo filed Monday the government has failed to provide sufficient evidence to connect Taylor to the conspiracy at the heart of the indictment against his client and three others.


RELATED: Final Witness for Government Takes Stand in Starkey Trial

Former Starkey president Jerry Ruzicka, former Starkey human resources manager Larry Miller and former Starkey business associate Lawrence Hagen join Taylor as defendants in the federal trial, which gained its 22 day on Monday.

Two others, former Starkey CFO Scott Nelson and the former president of a Starkey subsidiary, Jeff Longtain, have pleaded guilty in connection to the case and testified for the prosecution. Nelson pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy, and Longtain to a count of tax evasion. 

Taylor's attorney argues in the motion for mistrial that prosecutors failed to sufficiently tie Taylor to the "unitary conspiracy" as laid out in the first count of the indictment.

The motion further argues for a mistrial on the basis of a variance, saying prosecutors presented evidence that proves facts other than what they alleged in the indictment, in this case, specifically, the third superseding indictment. Prosecutors did this, in part, because they alleged a single conspiracy but presented evidence of multiple, according to the motion. 

Taylor's attorney also argues the theory of fraud it outlined in the indictment "is dramatically different" from the theory it has pursued during trial.

RELATED: Starkey Will Not Renew Discount Program for NRA Members

The motion argues that because of that, Taylor could not have have anticipated the evidence that would be presented against him, and so his case was "seriously prejudiced."

No decision has been made on Monday's filing. 



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