CHELSEA, Vt. — A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a protester who appeared at the home of the Vermont public service commissioner, after another protest in court stopped the proceedings.

WCAX-TV reports ( Judge Timothy Tomasi in Chelsea, Vermont, declared the mistrial Monday at the request of the prosecution, saying the interruption meant the jury could no longer solely focus on the facts of the case in the trial of Henry Harris.

Harris is accused of trespassing at the home of then-Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia last year. Police said he and others put up a 20-foot-tall mock oil rig, spray-painted the ground, and drove in stakes symbolizing a groundbreaking.

As Harris ended his opening statement, people in court began taking off their shirts to uncover inmate outfits worn beneath, then raised banners.

A new trial hasn’t been scheduled yet.

Information from: WCAX-TV,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.