A lightning strike sparked a house fire on South Lakeside Oaks Dr. Thursday night.Several crews from the St. George Fire Department responded to the fire Thursday evening.We're told people were in theMore >>
A lightning strike sparked a house fire Thursday. It happened on South Lakeside Oaks Drive in Baton Rouge.More >>
A former East Baton Rouge Parish School System bus driver pleaded guilty Thursday on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. She was sentenced in federal court to 28 months. The 47 year old BatonMore >>
A former East Baton Rouge Parish School System bus driver pleaded guilty Thursday on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. She was sentenced in federal court to 28 months.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:33 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:33:53 GMT
John Corey Stringfellow (Source:Facebook)
A teenager was killed and a second was arrested on DUI charges in an overnight accident, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Investigators say a BMW being driven by 18-year-old Cameron StringfellowMore >>
A teenager was killed and a second was arrested on DUI charges in an overnight accident, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.More >>
Organizers of the Bayou Country Superfest have released the schedule of performers for this weekend's event at Tiger Stadium.Saturday5:00 p.m. - Aaron Lewis5:45 p.m. - Thompson Square6:45 p.m. - DariusMore >>
Organizers of the Bayou Country Superfest have released the schedule of performers for this weekend's event at Tiger Stadium.More >>
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
The judge in the Christopher Cope trial declared a mistrial in the penalty phase when jurors informed the court that they remain deadlocked at 7-5. The decision means Cope will not face the death penalty.
Prosecutors sought the death penalty in a case in which a jury agreed that Cope gunned down Shreveport Police Sgt. Timothy Prunty back in October 2010. The jury's guilty verdict came Tuesday.
Jurors began deliberations Thursday shortly after 4 p.m. and returned for the final time today at about 4:45 p.m. to declare no hope to resolve the deadlock.
The nephew of the slain sergeant, Matthew Prunty Jr., had some choice words to describe his reaction to the deadlocked jury.
"My family and I were sad and disgusted. What worse of a crime can you commit than killing a police officer? It's a slap in the face to my uncle and to every other law enforcement officer out there for not giving the man death. It's a disgrace."
Asked about whether solace is possible given that Cope will never be free again, Matthew Prunty says, "No. No, I do not because his family and stuff will be able to see him in prison. ... I'm not going to get to see my uncle ever, and his family will still get to see him."
Caddo District Court Judge Mike Pitman had the jury polled to ask whether further deliberation might help determine a different outcome, and the result was unanimous that more discussions would not make a difference.
Asked about whether sympathy for Cope might have been a factor in the lack of a unanimous verdict, assistant prosecutor Bryan O'Calaghan said: "It's hard to speculate what might be in a particular juror's mind. I think that it's a strategy to try to develop sympathy. We do not feel that it factored into the choices that the defendant made in committing this crime."
Part of the sympathy would have come from a narrative the defense had when they talked about Cope's mental ability. Cope has an I.Q. of 77.
Judge Pitman ordered Cope to return Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m. for formal sentencing of his first-degree murder conviction.
For the young Prunty, a deadlocked jury means that justice has not been served.
"For the past two years, I was here every day, and, um, hoping the law would do what it's supposed to, justice. And it didn't. And uh, you know, sometimes you just lose faith in the system." Copyright 2012 KSLA All rights reserved.