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Nov 30, 2017

Belizean in Florida Obtains Mistrial in Triple Murder Case

Brian Hyde

A Belizean accused of a horrific triple murder in Lee County, Florida in 2015 could face trial again after a relative’s inadvertent testimony caused a mistrial. Twenty-two-year-old Brian Hyde is accused of the murders by stabbing of his aunt, thirty-seven-year-old Dorla Pitts; his cousin, seventeen-year-old Starlette Pitts and her unborn child, and Pitts’ boyfriend, nineteen-year-old Michael Kelly on August eleventh, 2015.  Dorla Pitts was a sister of the late Russell Hyde of Roaring Creek, and her husband Dorrien is son of former Olympic Committee president Edward “Ned” Pitts. Trial began this week and after opening statements, Dorrien was called to testify. He told the court that Dorla had asked him whether her nephew, Brian, could stay after being incarcerated at the Texas detention center for illegal crossing.  But defense attorneys objected as testimony on his immigration status had been ruled out.  The prosecution tried to get Judge Margaret Steinbeck to declare that the jury should disregard the statement, but the defense prevailed and the judge ordered the mistrial, throwing out all that had been said. Hyde was said to be fleeing unrelated charges here at home and remains on remand pending a decision on retrial. Only a one-year-old girl at the time was left alive in the home, unhurt but traumatized.

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