Mistrial declared in DUI case, rescheduled for August

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The trial of a man for four deaths due to an alcohol-related accident has been declared a mistrial and has been rescheduled for August.

Charles Lapine of Picayune was being tried on the charges of aggravated DUI death and simple assault on a law officer resulting from a 2003 car crash. The crash took the lives of four people, including Lapine’s seven month-old son Lance Lapine of Picayune, 31-year-old Kenneth Verret of Hancock County, 2-month-old Kenneth Verret of Hancock County and 29-year-old Frank Verret of Metairie, La.

The trial began with jury selection last Tuesday, but a continuance was granted because of some medical problems for lead defense counsel John Howell. The trial was scheduled to resume Monday morning at 9 a.m., but Howell’s health had not recovered.

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The attorneys could not find another suitable date within a reasonable amount of time to resume the trial, District Attorney Hal Kittrell said.

Judge Prentiss Harrell declared a mistrial and the jury was dismissed, said Kittrell. The trial will start again on Aug. 22.