Retrial begins in Mallo case

REED CITY — The retrial of Francis Brent Mallo began with day one of jury selection on Tuesday in Osceola County’s 49th Circuit Court.

Mallo, of Loudon, Tenn., formerly of Evart, is charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from incidents that allegedly took place in the early 1990s in the Evart area and involved a girl who was 11 and 12 years old at the time.

The first trial for Mallo on the CSC charges ended in a mistrial in December, with jurors unable to come to a unanimous decision after 18 hours of deliberation.

On Tuesday, jury selection for Mallo’s trial took place in the judge’s chambers, with the prosecution and defense both questioning potential jurors to reach a final jury. Just as with the first trial, a second day of jury selection will be required to finalize the jury.

According to court staff, 155 potential jurors were called to create a bigger pool compared to the usual 125 people selected in this type of case.

Eight days have been set aside for the trial, giving extra time after the first trial exceeded the five days which were originally blocked out for the proceedings.

A visiting judge will be on the bench for the trial after Osceola County 49th Circuit Court Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy was unable to due to judicial scheduling conflicts.

Jury selection will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Osceola County’s 49th Circuit Court. Once a jury has been selected, opening statements and testimony will begin.