Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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August 27, 2013

Mistrial ruled in Sinclair civil suit

Corsicana — District Judge James Lagomarsino declared a mistrial during the jury selection process Monday in a civil action over the death of a man who had visited the Wispers Cabaret in Mustang.

Fernando Ramirez died in 2008 after a visit and altercation at the nightclub owned by Tommy Sinclair. A criminal trial held in 2011 ended with Sinclair convicted of assault in connection with the man’s death.

A civil suit filed on behalf of Eva Ramirez and her three children was just getting started Monday in 13th District Court with attorneys for both sides beginning to pick a jury.

During Monday’s voir dire process — the questioning and selection of potential jurors — in a civil trial filed on behalf of the Ramirez family, lawyers representing the defendants in the case raised several objections to the questions posed by lawyers representing the family, calling for a mistrial.

Judge James Lagomarsino called a halt to the proceedings after the repeated objections, and declared a mistrial.

The Ramirez family was represented by the Domingo Garcia law firm. Attorneys for the family issued a statement Tuesday on Monday’s ruling by Lagomarsino.

“While Fernando’s widow and three children are disappointed that the civil trial in this tragic matter could not be completed due to a defense motion for mistrial, they are grateful to the judge and court staff for all their hard work and to the more than 100 citizens that appeared for the jury selection process,” the statement read.

“After speaking with panel members, it was clear that many members of the community feel Navarro County would be a better place if Wispers Cabaret was shut down, which is exactly what the family hopes to accomplish. ...”

A message left with Norman Snyder, the defendant’s attorneys, seeking comment on the move was not returned by press time Tuesday.

A new trial date of Dec. 9, 2013, has been set.


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