BELLEVILLE - On the first morning of the second murder trial of David Fields, special prosecutor Charles Colburn withdrew a blood spatter report that he obtained after the first trial ended in July.
When Colburn withdrew it, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida made it clear that he would have excluded it or have continued the trial.
Haida told Colburn, "Well, then that doesn't matter."
Haida also told Colburn to be more careful about avoiding another mistrial.
He further ruled that Fields' lawyers - Brittany Kimble and Ryan Neal - could ask witness Jamie Lott for names of two persons she identified at different times as a second suspect.
Jury selection was set to begin at 1:30 p.m.
Fields allegedly murdered Carl Silas on Dec. 30, 2016 in an apartment on West Boulevard with a rifle from the AK-47 family.
Lott, mother of Silas's children, told police Fields and another person entered the apartment; others in the apartment corroborated her statement.
No one has brought forth a murder weapon, and no one has arrested a second suspect.
Prior to trial this summer, Colburn and Fields' lawyers agreed that no witness would testify about Fields possessing a gun or saying he wanted one the day before the murder.
At trial in July, Kimble asked state police evidence technician Virgil Perkins if he performed a blood spatter analysis.
Perkins said no.
Kimble asked if he performed or obtained other tests, and he said no to each.
On the fourth day of trial, witness Michael Taylor started testifying about a gun. Kimble moved for mistrial and Haida granted it.
On Nov. 16, Kimble moved to bar all testimony from Lott and Taylor about conversation between Fields and Silas the day before the murder.
Before jury selection Monday morning, Haida took up the motion.
Kimble said it would be irrelevant and more prejudicial than probative.
"It's an incomplete story about David Fields," Kimble said. "It's an incomplete story about Carl Silas.
“They were some place else in the house overhearing something."
She argued that witnesses couldn't testify about the conversation without causing another mistrial.
Haida said, "Are you saying the witnesses weren't in the same room?"
"Our theory is that the entire story that Lott and her family derived was a lie, based on scientific evidence," Kimble said.
On Nov. 27, Kimble moved to exclude the blood spatter report that Colburn sent to her on Nov. 21.
She wrote that if the court didn't bar it, Fields would ask to continue the trial so defense experts could study it.
Regarding what statements would be permissible before the jury, Colburn said it was his understanding that the court barred testimony about possession of a gun but not a statement about wanting to commit a robbery.
He said that two pieces of evidence about possession of a gun and robbery were different.
"I tried to thread that needle the last time, and it's tough," Colburn said.
He said he can't control witnesses.
"They don't read from a script," he said.
He said he would ask leading questions and suspected the answers would be yes.
Kimble said his plan wasn’t adequate and people go haywire.
Haida told Colburn, "You've got to be much more careful than you were in the (first) trial."
He said he would allow introduction of statements of intent on robbery.