(SALT LAKE CITY) — A mistrial has been declared in the case of the Utah woman who allegedly hit her husband with her SUV and blamed the anti-anxiety drug Xanax for her actions.
In a dramatic and public incident captured on surveillance video, Brenda White, 36, allegedly chased her estranged husband, Jon White, through a parking garage in her Ford Explorer. She later plowed into a Salt Lake County office building and crashed the vehicle into him.
She was being tried for attempted murder but a mistrial was declared on Friday after her friend told the judge that she’d overheard members of the jury discussing the case as she rode in an elevator with them.
“We certainly pulled the surveillance video from the elevator cameras and that was consistent with what was said by that individual,” defense attorney Jason Schatz said.
Jurors are prohibited from discussing the cases they’re hearing until deliberations begin.
Jon White called the mistrial “unexpected.”
“It doesn’t change what happened and we’ll continue moving forward,” he said in a statement.
Prosecutors are expected to re-try Brenda White soon. The Whites had been in the middle of a difficult divorce, and she doesn’t deny that she was at the wheel of the SUV on April 26, 2006.
She said, though, that she wasn’t in her right mind after taking too much Xanax and her actions weren’t her fault.
Rare side effects for the drug include outbursts of anger, delusions and even aggressive and bizarre behavior. But such symptoms are rare.
Brenda White told the court that she had taken a handful of Xanax before heading to the Woodland Towers office building, and had heard her husband on his phone in the parking garage telling someone else that he loved her, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Speaking on the witness stand in her defense on Thursday, she said, “I describe it as I blacked out or something took over my body. It was not me. Jon was my husband. My best friend. My lover. I did not want to hurt him or kill him.”
Jon White had to have 63 stitches over his legs, arms and face as a result of the incident.
Just hours before the attack, Jon White said, his wife came to his office during lunch and played the song “Angry Johnny” by the singer and songwriter Poe, which includes the lyrics, “I wanna kill you/I wanna blow you away.”
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