Mistrial Declared in the Steven Jones/NAU Murder Trial
Back on April 18 I was interviewed at length on the murder trial of Steven Jones, a Northern Arizona University student who in October 2015 shot and killed another student, and wounded others, after being physically attacked. Jones would claim his conduct was lawfully justified self-defense. You can hear that interview here: Andrew Interviewed by LawNewz on Steven Jones/NAU Murder Trial. When asked for a prediction of the trial outcome I said:
On the law and the pure facts as I understand them to be, I think the defendant has a reasonably robust claim of self-defense here that will be difficult for the prosecution to overcome.
At the same time I recognize that there is a lot, a tremendous amount of emotion wrapped up in this case, especially emotion within the community, and the jurors are from that community. So whether that will influence their decision-making, only they can know.
I knew the case had gone to the jury for deliberations soon after my interview, but realized today I hadn't heard anything about a verdict, so I decided to check in. The result: on May 2, trial Judge Dan Slayton declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to come to a verdict after a week of deliberations, according to KPNX news and other sources.
Here's a video clip of Judge Slayton declaring a mistrial and tentatively scheduling a retrial for August 2017:
As a criminal defense attorney, I'll count a mistrial as a "win" for the defense, and my prediction correct. Another one in the win column for Law of Self Defense. :-)