Mistrial Declared When Witness Tests Positive During Recess

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A mistrial has been declared in the case of a Maine man charged with threatening to kill Jewish people because one of the witnesses tested positive for COVID-19.

Federal authorities charged Brian Dennison, 25, of Buxton, with one count of transmitting a threat through interstate communication because of a tweet that threatened Jewish people during Rosh Hashanah in 2021. Dennison has pleaded not guilty.

U.S. Border Patrol agent Jonathan Duquette found out he was positive for COVID-19 during a court recess during the trial on Monday, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Duquette had started his testimony but had not completed it, said U.S. District Judge Jon Levy.

Levy decided the mistrial must be declared.

Investigators said Dennison used an anonymous Twitter account, but they were able to trace the tweet to his email address, cellphone and an IP address.