A judge in Oklahoma declared a second mistrial in the case of Charles Dyer, a former Marine Oathkeeper who is accused of sexually abusing a 7-year old girl, and who went on the run before his trial because he believed his arrest to be a part of a government conspiracy.
Stephens County District Judge Joe Enos declared a mistrial on Tuesday over inappropriate contact between the district attorney and a few of the jurors, after the DA sent them a survey regarding a previous case. Enos said that though it had nothing to do with the case directly, it could “potentially” impact the jurors, KSWO News reports.
The surveys are normally sent after the jury term ends, not during it. And this impropriety became known at the end of the first break around 10:45 a.m. [Tuesday]. When court reconvened after lunch, Dyer’s attorney asked for a mistrial and the judge granted his request.
The new trial is scheduled for April 16.
This is the second mistrial in Dyer’s case, which was initially filed in January of 2010 on two separate counts — one charge of possessing an unregistered grenade launcher that was registered as stolen from a military base in California, and one charge of raping a minor. In April of last year, the judge declared a mistrial after the jury couldn’t reach a decision.
In August, Dyer was scheduled to appear in court to begin the new trial for the rape charges, but failed to appear, and led local law enforcement on a week-long manhunt before he was captured in Texas.
Prior to his disappearance, Dyer had posted threatening messages toward law enforcement and claimed that the charges against him were part of a government conspiracy. “I have been pushed to the limits multiple times by law enforcement and the judicial system in an attempt to cause me to take violent action against them,” he wrote in a letter to his attorney. “If I do, I know I will be the monster they depict me as.”
He is also a member of the Oathkeeper militia movement, and gained some internet fame for posting YouTube videos as “July 4 Patriot.” “I’m certainly not going to be hiding from my command anymore. I’m not hiding from ATF. Not hiding from FBI. Any organization. If they want to come get me I’m not going to be afraid,” Dyer said in one video.