BREAKING — Mistrial declared in Mason City man’s kidnapping trial

MASON CITY — A mistrial has been declared in the kidnapping trial of a Mason City man.

24-year-old Moises Erreguin-Labra was charged last June with first-degree kidnapping as well as assault causing bodily injury. A criminal complaint states that Erreguin-Labra locked a female victim in a room in a home in the 400 block of 1st Southwest for at least five days last June, not allowing her to leave, and subjecting her to sexual abuse or torture.

Jury selection had started on Monday and continued into Tuesday morning with attorneys starting to make strikes of potential jurors. That process came to a halt at about 11 o’clock as an issue came up with the striking process.

In addressing the issue, District Judge Chris Foy said he had no choice but to declare a mistrial .  “The issue that was presented had constitutional dimensions, so it impacted the party’s constitutional rights. I do not believe there was an appropriate way to try to correct the problem that had developed, and for that reason I declared a mistrial.”

Foy says he’s never experienced this type of a situation as a judge.  “Doing this work as a judge for 15 years, just when you think you’ve seen everything involving issues, something different comes up. That’s what’s happened in this case.”

Foy thanked the jury pool for their patience through their day-and-a-half of service.  “If you’re going to be upset with somebody, be upset with me. This is a decision I made, and while both sides argued about different ways that we could proceed, ultimately it was my decision and this is what I felt needed to be done.”

A new trial date will be set in the future. If convicted of first-degree kidnapping, a Class A felony, Erreguin-Labra would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the opportunity for parole.