Hung jury results in mistrial for 7-year-old murder case

Ernie Jacobs (Source: EBRSO)
Ernie Jacobs (Source: EBRSO)
Brian Sanders (Source: EBRSO)
Brian Sanders (Source: EBRSO)


A hung jury leads to a mistrial for the murder case that happened seven years ago.

Closing arguments in the case from 2007 were underway in District Court. Ernie Jacobs is accused of killing Jonathan Dixon in November 2007 in a botched robbery. Police say, back then, Jacobs and Brian Sanders attempted to rob a store on Fairfield's avenue.

Jacobs took the stand Friday morning in his own defense. He said he had nothing to do with the murder and claims he was home alone at the time of the shooting.

Jacobs allegedly shot Dixon several times killing him. He was arrested not long after on November 22, 2007. His case has never made it to trial - until today. District Attorney Hillar Moore says this case has had it all.

"It's been unique," says Moore. "It started off as a death penalty case. We had death qualified lawyers that came in to defend this defendant. There is also a co-defendant that went through the motions in a death penalty case. [It] takes a long time. Generally we run around 300 motions per first degree murder."

Defense attorney Bo Rougeau does not believe the lengthy delays will hurt his client. "It's really not an issue for us. The facts won't change there's several people involved. The big question is, which liar are you going to believe?" said Rougeau.

In fact, Rougeau was confident he could convince the jury his client is not guilty.

Originally, part of the problem was the lengthy time for a death penalty case, which requires a lot more work. When the decision was made to take the death penalty off the table things got moving.

"We had to appoint new lawyers for them. In the process we had some health issues for different people that postponed it again. And most recently a co-defendant pleaded guilty and has agreed to testify against the last defendant so it's taken some time we surely hope things go a lot faster in most cases."

Jury selection began Monday. The co-defendant, Brian Sanders, testified against Jacobs. Sanders has already pleaded guilty in the case.

The mistrial now means that the state has the option to retry Jacobs.

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