Judge Declares Mistrial in Band Director’s Trial
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Madison County District Judge Schuyler Richardson has declared a mistrial in the trial of Discovery Middle School Band Director John Nash.
Nash, 59, was charged with a violation of Alabama’s mandatory reporting law after, according to police, he learned of a possible inappropriate relationship between his son, Bradley Nash, and a female student. Bradley Nash was 24 at the time and the student was 15.
Bradley Nash, now 26, was charged as a result of an investigation into his activity while volunteering with the band at Discovery Middle School in Madison. He pleaded guilty to a federal charge of Possession of Child Pornography. His Madison County case involving Electronic Solicitation and Possession of Child Pornography has been waived to a grand jury.
Judge Richardson, concerned about the youth in attendance hearing possibly lewd testimony, closed the trial to the media and public. At least 30 youth, friends of Nash’s younger son, were in attendance to show their support for John Nash.
“It’s fairly standard to close all proceedings involving a minor especially in the juvenile court,” said WHNT News 19 Legal Analyst Harvey Morris.
Brice Callaway, John Nash’s defense attorney, said Nash deserved the right to a public trial. He said the public or media shouldn’t have been barred from attending. The victim’s parents asked their attorney to request the trial be closed.
“And after they came back from lunch the judge mistried the case at that point stating that he had done some research and he would like to reconsider the ruling on the earlier motion to exclude the public and the press,” said Morris.
The girl did not plan to testify, prosecutors said. Prosecutor Jason Scully-Clemons said he planned to call the girl’s father to the stand and a Madison Police Department investigator, according to our news partner, al.com/The Huntsville Times.
Though the case will begin again from scratch, any testimony already given is already on the record, according to Morris.
“The sworn testimony under oath recdorded by the court reporter could certainly be used if witness X go up and stated something totally different than what he had under oath,” said Morris.
Another hearing has been scheduled for July 10 to determine if the trial should be open or closed, and to what extent.