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Mistrial for Utah woman who drove SUV into building to hit husband

Published August 11, 2012 7:49 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The trial of a woman charged with running over her then-husband inside a Salt Lake County office building more than six years ago ended Friday in a mistrial.

According to a court spokeswoman Nancy Volmer, a friend of defendant Brenda Christine White claimed to have overheard three jurors in an elevator discussing something about "intent" and the number of recesses in the case. The issue was brought to 3rd District Judge William Barrett, who questioned the jurors Friday.

While the jurors said they did not remember making the comments, video footage showed the friend and the jurors together on the elevator and a mistrial was declared out of extreme caution, Volmer said.

A new trial could happen early next year.

White is charged with attempted murder for the April 2006 attack, captured on surveillance video, when she crashed her sports-utility vehicle through the Woodland Towers office building, near 4100 South and 700 East, and twice hit her husband. The couple have since divorced.

After years of delays as White's defense appealed whether she should be allowed to present a defense claiming extreme emotional distress, prosecutors suffered another setback this week.

White has admitted to injuring her ex-husband, Jon White, breaking his leg and ankle in the crash. On the witness stand Thursday, White claimed she was under the influence of anti-anxiety medication at the time and had blacked out before crashing through the building.

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @aaronfalk