The third week of the Isaiah Hagan murder trial began this week.
Hagan, 23, is accused in the shooting death of 20-year-old Halee Rathgeber. Her body was found at the Alcoa Soccer Complex east of Newburgh on April 24, 2017.
The trial continued into the third week Monday after several legal arguments and a motion to continue. After a second week of testimony presented in the case from the Warrick County Prosecutor's Office, Hagan's attorney Mark Phillips moved for a mistrial June 13, but that motion was denied by Warrick County Circuit Court Judge Greg Granger.
Phillips also moved for an appeal for that decision, but the appeal was also denied by Granger.
June 14, Phillips addressed a Facebook post relating to the trial made by Warrick County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Mike Wilder and "liked' by the lead investigator in the case, Warrick County Sheriff's Office Detective Paul Kruse. Phillips argued that both were called as witnesses in the case and shouldn't be discussing the trial at all. In addition, Phillips argued that Wilder has not yet testified and the court had already ordered for a separation of witnesses barring any witness to discuss the trial with another witness.
However, Granger denied any motions relating to the issue and opted to ask questions of the jury to find out if any juror had seen the post. Through the questioning, several jurors indicated they scrolled quickly passed posts regarding the trial on Facebook and others admitted to getting notifications on their phone from the 14News app.
In addition, one juror admitted to seeing a notification while on the phone in the jury room.
Phillips made another motion for a mistrial based on the rules that jurors not participate in social media to see media reports of the trial and that the jurors not use their phones while in attendance of the trial. However, Granger also denied that motion.
Meanwhile, Granger did grant a motion to continue the trial after Phillips reported hearing new information that may lead to new evidence in the case and allowed both parties to investigate before returning to the trial on Monday. While the search did result in an addition to the list of witnesses presented by the defense, the trial began again on Monday with the nearly eight hours of video of Hagan's interrogation.
After finishing the video after press time on Tuesday, the prosecution will finish their case and the defense will begin presenting witnesses and evidence in their case. Then, after closing statements, the case will go to the jury for a decision.
Prior to the legal issues June 14, the prosecutor's office called several law enforcement officers from the state and county level June 12-13. The prosecution had called Kruse as their final witness before introducing interrogation videos June 14.
The trial was originally schedule to conclude June 15, but it will likely last through this week. If the jury finds Hagan guilty, another trial process will commence allowing both sides to bring mitigating and aggravating factors in order for the jury to determine if Hagan should serve life in prison or a number of years.