Mistrial Declared in Falk Capital Murder Proceedings

A mistrial has been declared in the capital murder trial of an inmate accused in the death of a TDCJ officer during an escape in Huntsville.

John Ray Falk Jr.'s trial will have to be redone after delays due to appeals. According to Walker County District Attorney David, 278th District Court Judge Kenneth Keeling ended the proceedings Monday because the jury had been out so long.

It was early December that closing arguments in the case were put on hold because Walker County prosecutors successfully appealed concerning the instructions that were to be read to the jury before its deliberations. The appeals process continued for weeks.

A month-and-a-half after the jury was last seated, they were due Monday to continue the case before the judge ended it permanently.

Falk is accused in the death of Susan Canfield, a corrections officer at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville. Authorities say Falk and fellow inmate Jerry Martin escaped a work unit in September 2007, stole a vehicle and ran into Canfield's horse, throwing her to the ground. She later died.

Martin has already been sentenced to death for his role.

The Falk trial was moved from Walker to Brazos County.

According to Weeks, prosecutors and defense attorneys were prepared to deliver their closing arguments Monday. Before the jury was brought in, the teams made motions, including one to question the jury about whether they had maintained their oath and not talked about the case or read media reports. All motions were denied, according to Weeks.

Judge Keeling reportedly then called the jury into the courtroom and declared a mistrial.

Weeks says he has filed a motion to recuse Keeling from the case when it is retried. A timeline for that is unknown, as is the location of those proceedings.

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