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Archive for Friday, July 19, 2002

Holdout juror causes mistrial in murder case

July 19, 2002

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— A juror reportedly caused a mistrial when he refused to find a defendant guilty of felony murder because he thought the charge was too harsh.

Lana Jackson, 20, was charged with setting up a drug deal that resulted in the Dec. 31 shooting death of Bennie Zeigler, 26. Kansas law says anyone participating in a deadly felony can be charged with murder.

A co-defendant, Vernon Harris III, was convicted last month in Zeigler's shooting.

Of the six men and six women, one man held out Wednesday.

"We have jury member(s) who believe the defendant may be guilty as the law is written but will not vote guilty because they do not agree with the law and believe the charge is too severe," jury foreman Skip White wrote in a note to Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens.

Owens scheduled a new trial for Sept. 9. Jackson remains in the Sedgwick County Jail.

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