People who live in West Virginia and hear about defendants being put on trial for serious crimes such as rape or murder may often wonder what type of chance those defendants really have at getting fair treatment or consideration by juries. In some cases, media stories and reports seem to make it feel all but impossible that a defendant will be found guilty of the charges against them. A recent case in Kanawha County, however, illustrates that this is not always the case.
As reported by WVMetroNews.com, a man was facing trial for allegedly murdering another man not quite two years ago. The killing took place during a supposed drug deal at the home of the man who died.
The matter proceeded all the way to trial instead of being resolved via a plea deal or other agreement. The jury in the case deliberated for less than two full days before communicating to the judge that they would be unable to make a ruling one way or the other in the matter. This communication came after the judge was unable to provide information requested by or answer questions posed by the jury.
Because the jury could not determine the defendant's guilt or innocence, a mistrial was declared. The future of the case is unknown at this time as the prosecution team may have the ability to attempt to pursue a second trial with a new jury. The nature of the questions asked of the judge by the jury is also unknown.