Judge cites actions of victim’s family in ordering new trial

STATE PARK PLACE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois judge has ordered a new trial for a man whose first-degree murder conviction was overturned because of actions the victim’s family took during his trial.

The (Belleville) News-Democrat reports that the next court date for 30-year-old Donald J. Friese of State Park Place is June 17. A new trial date hasn’t been set. A St. Clair County jury found Friese guilty in November in the death of 18-year-old Mercedes Ferrarie-Troisi during a high-speed chase in April 2013.

Friese’s defense attorney said he deserved a new trial because the victim’s family tried to talk to jurors, wore distracting clothing and provided cues to a prosecution witness.

State Park Place is 10 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri.