SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- Amid a hung jury, a mistrial has been declared in the case against three former Washington County deputies accused of murder.
On Tuesday the jury continued to deliberate the case against the three law enforcement officers, who were accused of killing Eurie Martin in 2017 after using a stun gun on him multiple times which resulted in a heart attack.
Judge Gibbs Flanders dismissed the jury around 4:30 p.m. after declaring a mistrial.
Flanders asked a series of questions to the jury--like if they were hopelessly deadlocked, if there was any reasonable probability they could reach a unanimous decision if given more time to deliberate, and when was the most recent change in someone's decision was.
According to the foreperson of the jury, no one's mind had been significantly changed since Friday.
The foreperson believes they were hopelessly deadlocked and no amount of time deliberating would change that.
The judge then asked the remaining 11 jurors if they felt the same.
All agreed that no more time would change their current stances.
Once the jury was questioned, the defense motioned for a mistrial which the state did not object to.
What, exactly, will happen next remains uncertain for now.
But the mistrial doesn't remove the charges against the deputies:
- Two counts of felony murder
- Two counts of involuntary manslaughter
- Aggravated assault
- Simple assault
- False imprisonment
- Reckless conduct
The state could ultimately choose to pick it up again and retry the case.
Deliberations had picked up again after Monday, when the jury sent Judge Flanders a note, saying they'd looked through the evidence but could not come to a unanimous decision.
Flanders opted to read them an Allen charge, also known as a dynamite charge, which encouraged them to continue to deliberate.
On Tuesday, the first thing jurors asked for was to re-watch the beginning of Lee Copeland's dashcam footage.
The next note that came around 11 a.m. Tuesday, asked if one of the jurors may be excused from proceedings.
The note itself wasn't read aloud, however, Flanders read the response.
"For the record in response to the recent message from the jury, the response the court has prepared is, please give the name of the juror asking to be excused," said Flanders.
The prosecution, defense, and judge went into a private meeting, but when they came back -- no decision was announced about the juror asking to leave.
The jury was dismissed for lunch soon after.
Some spectators who've been watching the trial since jury selection expressed some frustration outside the courthouse.
"It's like being disappointed. Waiting and waiting and waiting, but you know I am just going to wait and see what happens. That's all we can do," said Leonard Jordan.
After lunch, another note was brought to the judge.
This one asking for a copy of the fourth amendment.
The Fourth Amendment is as follows:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The question around the fourth amendment in the trial is, whether the deputies violated Martin's fourth amendment when they stopped him, or was he committing a crime that allowed for him to be stopped?
The judge denied their request for a copy of the fourth amendment--stating the jury can find what is needed from the fourth amendment in their charge.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/deadlocked-jury-leads-to-mistrial-in-murder-case-against-former-middle-georgia-deputies/ar-AAPYOON662