Mistrial forces new jury for Arlington murder case

EVERETT — A judge on Thursday declared a mistrial for a Tulalip-area man charged with murder.

In the final day of jury selection the lawyers for Dennis Watters moved for a new trial, arguing that the prosecutor erred when she told prospective jurors that they weren’t being asked to decide a death penalty case.

The attorney made the remark Wednesday after one potential juror disclosed that she wouldn’t be comfortable taking someone’s life. The woman ultimately was excused but the defense said the damage was done.

Watters isn’t facing the death penalty.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Michael Downes ruled there was case law to support a mistrial.

Before his decision Downes had booted several potential jurors from the pool after he learned they had made comments about the case despite his repeated admonitions not to talk about the proceedings.

Watters, 42, is charged with first- and second-degree murder in the July 2012 fatal shooting of Ryan Mumm at the Blue Stilly Park in Arlington. Jury selection in the case will start over on Monday.

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