A Superior Court judge decided on Monday to drop contempt-of-court proceedings against a juror whose private investigation at the scene of a shooting led to a mistrial on July 11.
The trial involved the March 18 shooting of Tran Khanh Van, a former Saigon housing official, outside his office in Westminster. Be Tu Van Tran of Costa Mesa was charged with attempted murder.
But Superior Court Judge Jean Rheinheimer declared a mistrial after the jury foreman told her that juror Charles T. Dalton of Costa Mesa had tried to get jurors to view the results of his own investigation of the scene. Dalton apparently was testing a defense theory that another car seen speeding a few blocks from the shooting scene could have been involved. The judge had instructed the jurors not to conduct their own investigations.
Dalton now will be found in contempt only if any of the attorneys in the case decide to pursue the matter. Alan M. May, attorney for Tran, said that may not happen.