Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 1, 2013

‘Quitman 11’ mistrial declared

No word on whether Lula Smart’s case will be retried

QUITMAN — After a week-long trial that questioned the questionnaire used by Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Georgia Secretary of State agents and the absentee ballot submission process, Superior Court Judge Ronnie Joe Lane declared a mistrial in the trial of Lula Smart, one of the “Quitman 11.”

Smart is part of the “Quitman 11,” a group of citizens and elected officials charged with multiple counts of unlawful possession of ballots in relation to the July 2010 Brooks County school board primary election.

She was charged with 25 counts of illegal possession of ballots and six counts of interfering with an elector.

One of each counts had been dropped on the first day of the trial, leaving 24 counts of illegal possession of ballots and five counts of interfering with an elector.

Earlier in the trial, Chevene King, defense counsel for Smart, requested that the trial be declared a mistrial, and Lane denied the motion. However, he later changed his mind, approving it on Friday afternoon.

There is no current word on if and when prosecutors would want to retry the case.

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