After two unsuccessful attempts to convict Nicholas Slatten with murder, jury selection begins on October 29, according to U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth. Slatten will be forced to endure another trial – a third trial.
Last week, the retrial of the case of United States of America vs. Nicholas Abram Slatten came to a long-awaited end. It concluded with a hung jury on September 5, 2018, following more than two weeks of careful deliberation by jurors.
In anticipation of a full acquittal or a third retrial, Justin Dillon, a criminal defense attorney at KaiserDillon PLLC in Washington, DC, writes:
"More than ten years and two trials in, that seems like a bad trade for the government. I think that, once the initial shock of the loss wears off, that's what they will decide as well. It's also what they should decide. A single retrial in a case like this is one thing; a second one, after the highly questionable charging decision that was made in the wake of a massive government screw-up, would start to look an awful lot like face-saving. And that isn't good for anyone – including the government."
On Friday, a status conference was held to determine the next step for Slatten – whether or not to retry him. The government could have chosen to opt out of pursuing the case any further and without a subsequent trial. Instead, the government has decided to retry Slatten again. His attorneys argue that he doesn't pose a flight risk, yet he will remain in custody as he waits to stand trial for a third time on charges that have yet to be proven after the two previous trials.
As evidenced by the comments on social media, many who follow the case are outraged and voicing their opinions about the recent decision and the apparent ineptness of a failing Justice Department and FBI, for unjustly pursuing Slatten.
Before his third trial gets under way, Slatten will have been imprisoned for more than four years – without a valid conviction. He is being tried repeatedly for a killing he has claimed he did not commit. The government has had a sworn statement since the 2007 incident that someone else neutralized that threat.
Friends and family members remain faithful and hopeful the third trial will result in a full acquittal. In a statement made to OneNewsNow, "Nick" Slatten's sister, Jessica Slatten, asserts: "Nick is innocent, and the government has known that since day one."
"No matter how many times the government tries to convince 12 jurors otherwise," she continues, "the outcome of this summer's trial sends a strong signal that at least someone – maybe more than one – on the jury is always going to see the truth."
She concludes: "My family remains confident that the truth will ultimately set Nick free."