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IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF ALASKA
CORDELL C. TRITT,
) Court of Appeals No. A-9600
) Trial Court No. 4FA-05-3114 CR
) O P I N I O N
STATE OF ALASKA,
) No. 2139 — January 4, 2008
Appeal from the Superior Court, Fourth Judicial District,
Fairbanks, Jane F. Kauvar and Mark I. Wood, Judges.
Appearances: Renee McFarland, Assistant Public Defender, and
Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Petitioner.
Tamara E. de Lucia, Assistant Attorney General, Office of
Special Prosecutions and Appeals, Anchorage, and Talis J.
Colberg, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Respondent.
Before: Coats, Chief Judge, and Mannheimer and Stewart,
Shortly after the parties completed opening statements in Cordell Tritt’s jury
trial, the trial court indicated that it would offer the State the option of a mistrial because
the court believed that Tritt’s opening statement was unfair. The prosecutor chose the
court’s option of a mistrial over Tritt’s objection.
– 2 –
Tritt moved to dismiss the case on the ground that a retrial would violate
the double jeopardy clause. The superior court denied the motion to dismiss. Tritt
petitioned this court for review, and we granted review. Because we conclude that there
was no manifest necessity for a mistrial, we reverse the superior court and direct the
superior court to dismiss the charges against Tritt.
Facts and proceedings
On September 10, 2005, a pickup truck crashed into a utility pole in
Fairbanks. Witnesses saw