The murder trial for a suspect accused of killing a 67-year-old Opelika taxi driver was declared a mistrial in its third day on Monday morning by Lee County Judge Jacob Walker after a witness made an unsolicited statement.
Marquavious Tirrell Howard is facing capital murder charges in the case.
“A witness made an unsolicited statement in court on Friday regarding the defendant's criminal history,” said Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes. “Out of an abundance of caution, the judge declared a mistrial.”
Hughes said his office will seek a new trial.
Howard was 25 years old when he was arrested in connection to William Foreman's murder.
Family and friends knew Foreman as ‘Jug,’ and he was married to Edna Foreman for 16 years, according to records.
Foreman lay on the road at the intersection of Lee Road 401 and Lee Road 170 near Salem when the Lee County Sheriff’s department received the call that he’d been found around 6:30 a.m on Aug. 31 2016. There were 9 mm luger pistol shell casings near his body, according to records.
Another suspect, Martez Anthony Simmons, was arrested with Howard.
Howard and Simmons were originally arrested in September 2016 and took part in a preliminary hearing in October. Lee County District Judge Steven Speakman ruled then that the men should be held without bond.
Howard and Simmons were formally arrested in April 2017 after receiving capital murder charges.