‘Hung Jury’ declared in case of man accused in deadly shooting outside Erwinville bar
WEST BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The trial of a man in West Baton Rouge Parish in connection with a deadly shooting outside a bar ended in a “hung jury” on Thursday, Aug. 18.
After deliberating for almost 9 hours, jurors could not unanimously agree on a verdict in the second-degree murder trial of Ronald Campbell, who stood accused of killing Trey Allen, 21, of Livonia, during a fight outside a bar in Erwinville last year.
The jury returned to the courtroom twice during the afternoon, to ask for the different definitions of manslaughter and second degree murder.
A ‘hung jury’ is a jury whose members cannot agree about what the verdict should be.
Therefore, Judge Tonya Lurry of Division B declared a mistrial.
“Well the evidence was pretty overwhelming because the state had video of the actual fight and quite frankly of the actual shooting. So it wasn’t an issue of whether my client did it or not. It was an issue of whether or not there was provocation to reduce the charge of second degree murder to manslaughter. And that’s what we were arguing. The jury couldn’t determine whether it was second degree or manslaughter, couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict,” said Tommy Damico, the defense attorney.
Investigators said Trey Allen was shot and killed in the parking lot of Raxx Bar and Grill in Erwinville on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Officials added Allen was trying to stop the fight when he was shot.
Campbell was 17 at the time of the shooting, but 18th Judicial District Attorney Tony Clayton, chose to try Campbell as an adult in this case.
“I just thank those 11 jurors who stayed there and tried to get that one juror, to talk to him, and to reason with him. You know I tip my hat off to those 11 jurors. But you know Louisiana gave us that unanimous jury stuff to deal with and this is what we have to deal with. So we’re faced with it and I’m going to deal with it,” said 18th Judicial District Attorney Tony Clayton.
As a result of the deadly shooting, the West Baton Rouge Parish Council appointed a hearing officer, who decided to revoke the liquor license of Raxx Bar and Grill. The place is permanently closed for now.
This case will be tried again before another jury on November 14.
“That’s what the jury system is about. If 12 individuals can’t reach a unanimous verdict then the state can choose to re-try the case, and it certainly seems the case will be retried in November,” said Damico.
“He shouldn’t get too comfortable. In less than 45 days he’ll be back at it again. We’ll try him again. 11 to 1 that we’ll convict him,” said Clayton.
Campbell will stay in prison until the next trial.
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