This was no ordinary day at court, then again this is no ordinary case.

This was no ordinary day at court, then again this is no ordinary case. 

On Tuesday, Laclede County Circuit Judge Kenneth Hayden, in a rare move, allowed members of the media to sit beyond the bar during what was supposed to be jury selections and potential opening statements in day two of the Susan Elizabeth Van Note murder trial. 

Van Note is a Kansas City area attorney who is accused of first degree murder in the deaths of her father, William Van Note, and her father's long-time companion, Sharon Dickson. The couple was attacked at their Sunrise Beach area home on Oct. 2, 2010. Dickson died at the scene, while William Van Note passed away two days later at University of Missouri Hospital after Susan Elizabeth Van Note had him removed from life support.

Nearly five years later, the high profile nature of the case and trial was immediately apparent upon entering the courtroom.

With 96 potential jurors, over a dozen members of the media, and nearly a dozen attorneys and courtroom employees plus Van Note and family members, the courtroom was filled to capacity as the defense team and prosecuting attorney team each had the opportunity to gauge potential jurors through a variety of related and unrelated questioning for official jury selection. 

"Can you presume innocence?" Tom Bath, defense attorney, polled the juror pool. "If you can't, that's okay." 

Everything seemed to be moving along seamlessly, by the books, and it appeared the finalization of jury selections was imminent. Then the announcement came, shortly after an hour recess. 

"A mistrial has been motioned and granted," the judge said.

Reporters scrambled for a statement, but little could be said on the record regarding the case. The defense had concerns that the jury pool was tainted and feared some had been discussing the case amongst themselves. The defense made the motion and Judge Hayden granted. 

"We offered suggestions on how it may be handled and the court ruled for a mistrial," Camden County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Gilley told a scrum of reporters. "Kevin Zoellner (Assistant Attorney General) and I were ready to try a case, these things happen in this industry." 

It is unclear when or where the new trial will take place. It could be months as two week trials are difficult to reschedule and Judge Hayden said he would be busy until December. 

The original first degree murder charges filed in Camden County and then transferred to Laclede County on a change of venue will stand.

Gilley described it as similar to a continuance of the case with jury selection to be redone. No jeopardy may be attached, because the jury was not seated, he added.

All rulings related to the trial that have been approved will stand and pending motions are still pending, according to Gilley. 

During the pre-trial motion hearing Monday, a state's motion attempting to block the possible defense that someone else committed the crime was overruled. A motion by the defendant regarding evidence from a Clay County, Mo. probate case was withdrawn. Another motion by the defendant to be able to present a defense that the attacker was in a family or close personal relationship with the victims based on the nature of the attack and injuries was granted except as to cross examination and/or rebuttal deemed allowable by the County or unobjectionable by the defendant. A motion to stop the presentation of an expunged conviction as evidence was also granted.

Judge Hayden also indicated that he is considering allowing cameras into the courtroom for closing statements and the verdict. Camera-access, if granted, would be an unprecedented move in the circuit.

While cameras in the courtroom is decided on a case-by-case basis, judges within the conservative 26th circuit have not historically allowed this access. Many of the courtrooms do not even allow cell phones.