Judge Nicholas Garaufis
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Mistrial Hearing at 9:00 AM Tomorrow – Future of Trial in Doubt

The first day of Keith Raniere’s trial ended on an odd note with Raniere’s lead attorney, Marc Agnifilo, indicating he wanted the presiding judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, to declare a mistrial – and a clearly miffed Judge Garaufis indicating that, if a mistrial is declared, a second trial would not start until September.

Marc Agnifilo (r) and Paul DerOhannesian (r) want Judge Garaufis to declare a mistrial in Keith Raniere’s case

Courtroom observers indicated that Agnifilo was displeased over the fact that the lead prosecutor, Moira Kim Penza, had instructed the prosecution’s first witness, a British citizen named Sylvie, that she could mention the last name of someone she was describing during her testimony.

Agnifilo apparently did not object to Penza’s instruction before Sylvie mentioned the person’s last name.

But as soon as the jury had been dismissed for the day, Agnifilo indicated to the court that a mistrial needed to be declared because of the person’s last name being mentioned.

Judge Garaufis chastised Agnifilo for not raising an objection on the matter when it first came up – and heatedly asked him if he really wanted to come back and try the case in September.

Agnifilo responded by telling the judge that he would sooner do that than proceed with a trial that was unfair to his client.


While it is known that Judge Garaufis had decided the prosecution would be allowed to question certain witnesses by their first name only, it is not known exactly which witnesses were affected by that decision (The judge’s order on that matter was filed under seal).

Presumably, the “first name only” ruling applies to all the Jane Does – and perhaps the one John Doe – who may be called to testify in the case. Whether it applied to the person whose last name was mentioned by Sylvie is unknown.

A hearing on the mistrial motion has been set for 9:00 AM tomorrow morning. At the conclusion of that hearing, the judge will decide whether to declare a mistrial.

Hell of a start to the trial…

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  • Is it possible this is Marc’s way of getting out of the trial? A mistrial would allow time for Agnifilo to leave and new counsel to be appointed. Or, perhaps Raniere will come to his senses and take a plea?

  • The DOJ dropped the bomb direct on KAR’s head as fully expected. Aggie’s dropped to his knees pleading, “Hail mistrial, full of grace…”

  • Nobody is going to prison. In the traditional sense of Jusse Smollet, Lori Laughlin, Michael Jackson, and the rest, the rich are exempt from laws.

  • This is unrelated to the post but check out this picture:


    A NXIVM member’s recent baby shower. Grace Park is there with Sarah Edmondson. So Grace Park, is both silent on NXIVM and still in contact with other NXIVM people. That is her status.

  • I want to apologize for being the bearer of bad news, but…

    All of my dreams about real life events have come true.

    I had a dream which showed Keith will be acquitted on ALL charges very soon. It had certain details that indicate it was a true life prediction.

    When I dreamed about certain superbowl winners beforehand, I’ve always been right.

    Thus, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Keith will likely be going free cuz I’m almost never wrong about shit like this.

    I apologize to Frank, Claviger and especially Heidi.

    I know that Heidi really wants Keith to be punished and she’ll probably be sick with grief when Keith is set free in 6 weeks.

    Sorry Heidi, but I must speak the truth.

    The trial will go on. A mistrial will not happen.

  • Meant Penza.

    Moira Kim Penza had screwed up at previous trials such as when she kept referring to a defendant as a mafia member even though the mafia was not even involved in the case.

    Thanks Moira……..or Moron Penza…….

    Why did you leave private practice?

    Good enough for government work Moira….

  • The Judge can instruct the jury to disregard the last name. If AgniSTEALo had a problem with it, he should have raised a contemporaneous Objection.

    Revealing a last name should not prejudice the jury one way or another.

    Cmon Marc. That is a bit silly, no? I would think the kiddie porn pics are much more inflammatory and grounds for mistrial than revealing a last name.


    What a heck of a set of babies Raniere and his lead attorney are.

    I’m sure Raniere is overjoyed by the thought of being at the YMCA, oops, MDC another four months before this trial begins.

    I’m sure the Judge will hear Marc Agnifilo objections but the trial will go on.

    Not everyone’s last name needs to be withheld from testimony. Only those whose lives will be forever tarnished by being DOS slaves.

    • All the guilty pleas will remain in place (Those cases are already finalized). But it’s possible that sentencing for some/all of those defendants will be delayed.

  • Krclaviger,

    Thank you for the timely update. How the prosecution using a last name is grounds for a mistrial I will never comprehend..

    I guess the fix is in…….something smells really bad…..

  • So what is this really about ?
    What is the defense up to ?
    Your honor I make a motion that we forget all about this and let Vanguard go.

  • Is all this amounts to – the defense realized after day 1 that Keith will be convicted.

    • I agree. But I think it’s because Clare Bronfman is looking stupid due to the testimony of the first witness and I imagine it will only get worse for her during the trial bringing more humiliation upon the family name. I would wager this is the main reason.

      Otherwise, the call for a mistrial over the mention of witness name is ridiculous and is obviously against KAR’s wishes not to postpone the trial where he would have stay in MDC for more months.

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