Judge Declares Mistrial In Oklahoma Ex-Marine's Rape Case

Wednesday, January 25th 2012, 4:49 pm

He was on the FBI's most wanted list and an outspoken member of an anti-government militia.

But a jury will not hear Charles Dyer's case this week as scheduled.

1/23/2012 Related Story: Trial To Begin For Marlow Man Charged With Abuse

A judge declared a mistrial in Dyer's case. This is the second time a mistrial has been declared in this case. Back in April, there was a hung jury. This time, it was because of this questionnaire that a judge said could have prejudiced jurors.

On the internet, Charles Dyer is known as a July 4th patriot. The ex-marine and Oklahoma militia man maintains it's his outspokenness that has led to his legal troubles.

"I have been fighting my own battles against tyranny for nearly two years now," Dyer wrote in a letter last fall.

Two years ago, Dyer was charged in Federal Court with possession of a grenade launcher but a jury found him not guilty.

Now Dyer is charged in Stephens County with raping a 7-year-old family member. When he didn't show up for court on those charges, law enforcement launched a nationwide manhunt.

Dyer was caught in Texas and has been in jail ever since.

8/25/2012 Related Story: FBI Nabs Oklahoma Fugitive Charles Dyer In Texas

On Monday, the prosecution had just called its first witness on the sex charges when it was discovered that jurors had received the questionnaire.

"I received that information, I reported it to the defense council and the court and it kind of went downhill from there," said James Walters, who is prosecuting the case.

Walters says the questionnaire is standard and sent out to evaluate staff following a trial. Most prosecutors in the state use it.

But because of the large number of trials on this docket the entire jury panel was called back, some jurors had already received the questionnaires because of their service last week.

"There wasn't anything illegal or improper about the commendation itself," said Walters.

But it all means Dyer will not be back in court until April.

Dyer's attorney Al Hoch tells News 9 he doesn't believe the issue was intentional. Nonetheless, it means his client will continue to sit in jail until April.

News 9 did try to contact Dyer's family and attorney, but our calls were not returned.

For the same reason, a mistrial was also declared in the case of Brandon Balthrop, a former Stephens County deputy, charged with sexually assaulting four women.

1/24/2012 Related Story: Mistrial Declared In Case Of Oklahoma Deputy Accused Of Misconduct