HENRY COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A Henry County Superior Court judge denied a second motion by defense attorneys Wednesday for a mistrial in the murder trial of two foster parents accused in the death of a young girl.
The ruling by Judge Brian Amero came after he removed a juror from the case who had contact with a reporter.
On Tuesday, the juror told the judge a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had made a casual comment to him in a hallway.
After questioning the juror and the reporter, Amero denied the first mistrial motion Tuesday.
Even though the juror told the judge the contact would not affect his ability to judge the case fairly, Amero replaced the juror with an alternate on Wednesday and ordered the jury to start over with deliberations.
The replaced juror will remain on the panel as an alternate.
The judge also ordered that jurors be sequestered at the courthouse while they deliberate during the day.
The developments came after three weeks of testimony in the trial of Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum.
Prosecutors have charged the couple with the November 2015 death of 2-year-old Laila Daniel, a foster child in their care, and injuring her sister, Millie Place.
The couple faces 49 counts, some individually, some together, which include murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and cruelty to children.
Jennifer Rosenbaum has said Laila was choking on a piece of chicken that she tried to dislodge using the Heimlich maneuver and that she also did CPR on Laila, but she wasn’t sure if she was doing it correctly.
Prosecutors say Rosenbaum beat the children, ultimately causing Laila’s fatal internal bleeding, while her husband, Joseph, failed to report the alleged abuse.
The jury began deliberations on Monday.