VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) –  A mistrial has been declared in the trial of the man accused of fatally shooting a woman during a robbery in Dec. 2021 at a Harris Teeter gas station.

10 On Your Side’s Hayley Milon was in the courtroom Wednesday and says a Virginia Beach Circuit Court judge granted the defense’s motion for a mistrial after a witness took the stand and mentioned that the suspect, Darrius White, had said he was a convicted felon. This mistrial comes on day two of the trial.

A spokesperson from the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney made the following statement in reference to the mistrial:

I cannot comment specifically on Darrius White’s case, as it will be set for re-trial; However, based upon a reference from a witness, Judge Lewis determined that a mistrial was appropriate. As a result of this ruling, the Commonwealth is prepared to retry this case in the near future. 

Case law has established that any mention of or implication that a defendant has a felony conviction is considered prejudicial.  For this reason possession of firearm by convicted felon charges are not tried together with other charges stemming from the same incident; they are severed and set for separate trials.

Statement from the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney on mistrial

White is facing an aggravated murder charge for the killing of Annie Smith. Prosecutors say White and his brother, Michael White, were robbing Smith’s husband, Steven Smith when White grabbed his gun and shot Annie three times.

First responders say Annie Smith was dead upon arrival.

Michael Javonte Demonde White

White also faces other charges, which includes robbery using a firearm. He is also facing a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon but will be tried for that count at a later date. This decision was made after White’s defense team said they didn’t want jurors to be influenced by the fact that White was previously convicted with a felony.

He was previously also facing a first-degree murder charge, but that has since been set aside.

There has not been a new date set for the trial at this time.

His brother Michael is scheduled to go on trial June 12.

10 On Your Side’s Hayley Milon will have more on this story starting on WAVY News 10 at 4 p.m.

Check for the latest updates.