Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Charles Govan has been relieved of duty with pay for allegedly tampering with a sequestered jury deliberating a criminal court case on Friday.
According to the sheriff's office, a sequestered jury deliberating a rape trial in criminal court was returning from a lunch break. A couple of comments regarding the case were made to a couple of the jurors by Deputy Govan, Sheriff Bill Oldham said.
The jurors reported the deputy's comments to court officials. Criminal Court Judge Paula Skahan spokes to the jury and decided to declare a mistrial in the case against Carl Miller Jr.
"We take this situation very seriously and immediate action will be taken," Sheriff Oldham said. "Behavior like this will not be tolerated by any of our employees."
Deputy Govan was not questioned in the courtroom and it was not clear why he had an interest in the case.
A new trial has been set for later this year.