State News

Authorities investigating juror in church's gay beating case

Posted June 8

— North Carolina authorities are investigating a juror who brought unauthorized documents to jury deliberations, causing a mistrial in the case of a minister charged with beating a gay congregant.

Rutherford County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ricky McKinney told The Associated Press on Thursday his department and the prosecutor's office are investigating the actions of 71-year-old Perry Shade Jr.

McKinney said a gag order prevents him from saying more.

Jurors were deliberating Tuesday in the trial of Brooke Covington, a minster at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina, when Shade was charged with contempt and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Shade's son says his father "made a mistake" and wasn't trying to derail the trial by bringing in documents, including outdated case law.

A retrial is scheduled for July.

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