PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A mistrial was declared Tuesday morning in the case of a Peoria man accused of drowning his wife four years ago.
A witness for Michael Vorrath, 67, mentioned evidence that had been excluded previously by Peoria County Circuit Judge John Vespa. Prosecutor David Gast objected, and Vespa declared a mistrial after a brief conference with attorneys.
The issue was defense attorneys had not supplied the disputed evidence to prosecutors, which is a violation of the rules regarding discovery. Thus, it was inadmissible at trial, and Vespa had barred the witness from mentioning it.
Vorrath will return to court on Sept. 14 where both sides will pick a new date for a trial.
Paramedics were called to the house, located 3352 W. Lexington Court, shortly after 1 p.m. Nov. 23, 2019, after Michael Vorrath’s 911 call regarding his wife, Nancy.
She had already been taken out of the sink, according to testimony by her husband, and put on the basement’s cement floor. Her glasses were placed near the utility basin, which was full of water, according to court records.
She was pronounced dead about an hour later. An autopsy indicated she drowned and also had “multiple and significant blunt force injuries, consistent with inflicted trauma,” according to court records.
A Peoria police officer’s body camera showed an emotional Michael Vorrath who answered every question posed to him and offered up his wife’s cell phone. He tearfully repeated several times how depression had gripped his wife of 40 years, and how he had tried to save her by doing CPR.