Harrison County

Judge declares mistrial in Necaise capital murder trial (Updated 11 a.m.)

Circuit Judge John Gargiulo has declared a mistrial in the capital murder trial of John Paul Necaise.

Gargiulo, just moments ago, said Necaise is on a ventilator at Memorial Hopsital at Gulfport after an attempted suicide some time between 8:32 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The judge said a physician has determined Necaise is not medically able to stand trial within the week and may have suffered brain damage.

Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara confirmed this morning that Necaise tried to hang himself this morning just before his capital murder trial was scheduled to resume.

"He tried to commit suicide about 8:30 a.m. by hanging himself with his belt," Brisolara said.

Necaise is charged with kidnapping and murder in the 2008 death of Frank Roberts. Roberts' family met with prosecutors this morning and then left the courthouse. Testimony was scheduled to resume at 9 a.m.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigator Joel Wallace arrived at the Harrison County Courthouse and joined Harrison County jail warden Don Cabana, Gulfport Police and Harrison County Sheriff's investigators behind closed doors in an area that houses the judges' chambers and the inmate holding area.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Wood said he would be "shocked" if the trial resumed today. Dr. Paul McGarry, a forensic pathologist who was scheduled to testify this morning, left the courthouse about 10 a.m.

Sunherald.com will provide more details as they become available.