A Clark County judge has ordered a new trial for former Beaverton, Ore., police Officer Christopher Warren, who was found guilty Oct. 31 of raping a 5-year-old girl with a pencil.Judge Barbara Johnson declared a mistrial in the case Dec. 23 following a revelation that a juror went against the judge’s instructions and read The Columbian’s coverage of Warren’s trial. The juror, Craig Bowen, came forward after the trial and admitted in an emotional testimony to the judge Nov. 6 that the content of the article he read influenced his decision to find Warren guilty. He also said he had misgivings about the verdict.Johnson ordered the new trial Wednesday and scheduled it for Feb. 9 in her courtroom.However, Warren’s attorney, Louis Byrd Jr., indicated that he may file a motion for a change of venue for the trial because of local publicity surrounding the case.“Mr. Warren has to worry about the prejudice associated with publicity,” Byrd said.“Exploration of a change of venue is realistic in this case,” he said later in a brief interview with The Columbian.Johnson on Wednesday set Warren’s new bail at $500,000, double the amount of his bail before his conviction.“The conduct of the jury was to enter a unanimous verdict of guilty, which does change the circumstances in terms of what the defendant may be contemplating in terms of jeopardy in the case, so I think there is a basis for increasing what was previously set,” Johnson said.Warren had been free on a $250,000 bond pending his first trial but was taken into custody Oct. 31 when the jury found him guilty. He has been in jail custody since then.
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