Trial on pause due to illnesses

News Photo by Temi Fadayomi Matt Wilt, a detective sergeant at the Michigan State Police-Gaylord Post, during his testimony before the jury in Alcona County’s 23rd Circuit Court on Tuesday, presenting pictures taken of Aaron Trout’s residence during the execution of a search warrant.

HARRISVILLE — Aaron Trout’s trial is adjourned early due to two of the jurors testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Trout is facing murder and child abuse charges for the alleged killing of 2-year-old Jayde McDonnell, the child of his then-girlfriend, Adrienne Pavelka.

While the jury was out of the courtroom for a recess period after a witness testimony, Judge Laura Frawley informed the courtroom that two of the jurors had tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, Frawley received a doctor’s note from another juror who was unable to appear for trial. That juror was officially excused, bringing the total number of jurors down to thirteen.

Frawley said after a lengthy discussion with Alcona County Prosecutor Thomas Weichel and Trout’s attorney, Bill Pfeifer, she had decided the best course of action would be to adjourn the trial.

Since the entire jury pool was exposed to the two jurors who tested positive, Frawley informed the courtroom that a COVID-19 test would be provided to any jurors who requested them.

Frawley then told the court that the trial is set to resume on Thursday unless they receive word of additional reports of a positive test in which the trial will be postponed until Monday.

After the courtroom was informed, the jury was called back in and received that same information.

Before the adjournment, the prosecution was able to receive some testimony from two witnesses, Aaron Trout’s father Alexander Trout, and the detective in charge of the search warrant executed at Trout’s residence, Matt Wilt.

Alexander Trout’s testimony consisted mainly of him answering questions regarding Aaron Trout’s character and his familiarity with McDonnell.

Wilt, a detective sergeant with the seventh district in Gaylord, answered questions about the search into Trout’s residence and some of the evidence collected during said search.

During Wilt’s testimony, the prosecution showed photos taken by the investigation team during the search to accompany Wilt’s explanation of the investigation. In addition to the photos some of the evidence was physically presented in the courtroom such as numerous firearms found in his residence

Wilt’s testimony was cut short by the sudden adjournment and will be resumed whenever the trial restarts.


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