Before the trial began last month, U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden ordered that the death of one of the couple’s three adopted children be kept from the jury because it would be prejudicial. As the trial continued on November 14, 2014, a prosecutor let the child’s death slip and the judge declared a mistrial.

While questioning the couple’s 16-year-old biological son, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jampol mis-phrased a question.  She asked him if he remembered something that had happened when his adopted brother “was alive.”

U.S. Army Major John and Carolyn Jackson have been charged with child endangerment and assault for abusing and neglecting their three adopted children.  The abuse included swats with a wooden paddle, force feeding red hot pepper flakes, and neglecting to get proper medical help for their children.

A date has not yet been set for the retrial.