UPDATE: Mistrial declared, attorney cited for contempt of court - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

UPDATE: Mistrial declared, attorney cited for contempt of court

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -

The manslaughter trial against former Little Rock Police Officer Josh Hastings ended in a mistrial Sunday.

 

Two consecutive days of deliberations finally ended around 5:30 pm, after members of the jury spent around 12 hours in their meeting room.

 

It was another tiring day for all parties involved in the manslaughter trial of Hastings, who shot and killed teen Bobby Moore in 2012.

 

After the jury deliberated for seven hours Saturday, the judge sent them back Sunday to think on the trial some more -- six more hours to be exact.

 

"Well, it's not the longest trial, but I don't know if I've been more tired," said Bill James, attorney for Josh Hastings.

 

Pretrial it was jury selection that caused the most buzz, but in the end the 12 people wearing the juror name tags could not come to a decision.

 

"We knew this was going to be emotional, so am i surprised?  I'm not real surprised; it's always a possible result," James added after leaving the courtroom Sunday. "This case isn't a slam dunk either way, there are a lot of issues there, and it is what it is

 

Meanwhile, the prosecution will go back to the drawing board in hopes of reaching a conviction at the next trial.

 

"You want things to be finished for the family, you want there to be completion for the community and everyone else, but we knew this was going to be a very challenging trial," said John Johnson with the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

 

Shortly after the jury was escorted out of the room, the trial took a strange turn when Judge Wendell Griffen wanted to address some housekeeping.

 

Griffen had unfinished business for the defense attorney, James.

 

Judge Griffen handed down 10 fines totaling $25,000 for contempt of court, stating James illicitly referred to past juvenile offenses of two boys who took the stand during this week's trial.

 

"Well, I'm not going to speak on the contempt issue, I'm just going to look at that and talk to my lawyer, and decide what we're going to do about that," James said afterwards.

 

Judge Griffen has set jury selection to begin in mid-September, with the trial running into the beginning of October.

 

 


 

Judge Wendell Griffen has declared a mistrial in the manslaughter case against ex-Little Rock police officer Josh Hastings. 

 

Nine women and three men spent two days deliberating the fate of the former police officer who shot and killed a teenager in August, but could not reach a verdict.

The Hastings manslaughter trial was handed over to the jury around 11:00 Saturday morning after closing arguments wrapped up.

Griffen sent them home for Saturday night, saying, "You've been working hard. I'm going to send you home to work some more [on a verdict]."

Hastings shot 15-year-old Bobby Moore, III, when he caught Moore and two other teens burglarizing cars in a West Little Rock apartment complex. He has admitted to the shooting but insisted that it was in self defense because Moore was trying to run him over with a car.

Prosecutors say Moore was actually stopping or even driving away from Hastings at the time of the shooting.

Reconstruction experts called by both the prosecution and defense also contradicted each other about whether scratches on the car mean Hastings' story is right or they were just from normal wear and tear.

In closing arguments Saturday, defense lawyer Bill James said Hastings acted reasonably and felt threatened. They also drove home their belief that the prosecution was looking for a conviction, not the truth.

On the other hand, Prosecutor John Johnson said that the defense wanted jurors to simply let Hastings off or "trust the badge." He argued that "just because you're suited to do the job, doesn't mean you shouldn't be held accountable," referring to allegations that Hastings panicked during this incident. He even went so far as to claim that if Hastings is not found guilty, it would - in effect - create a safe haven for police officers.

 

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