BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Friday morning a Jefferson County judge declared a mistrial for Patrick Johnson. He’s accused of killing an off-duty Birmingham police officer.
Now prosecutors and defense attorneys go back to the drawing board.
Judge Clyde Jones set a September court date for a retrial on the capital murder charge.
After about an hour and a half of deliberation Friday morning, the jury sent a message to Judge Jones that they could not agree on a verdict.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed they were hopelessly deadlocked and split 6-6 on whether or not to convict. Prosecutors said Johnson killed off-duty Birmingham officer Keary Hollis after Hollis backed into his motorcycle. Defense attorneys claimed that it was self-defense and said the defendant had no idea Hollis was an officer.
A gag order is in place, so defense attorneys and prosecutors were not allowed to speak to reporters after the trial. The families of the victim and the defendant who were in court also declined to comment.
The only person who was willing to weigh in on the mistrial was self-described “Prophetess” Caprece Daniels, who prayed with members of the defendant’s family in a witness room after court.
Daniels said she travels all over the country holding conferences and meeting with families and people facing legal problems, illness and other personal crises.
She said she was contacted by Johnson’s family after someone gave the family one of her cards.
“Well, we were basically praying standing on what God’s will is. Not just the Johnson family, but others who are also sad because they’re supposed to have turned him loose. Like I said, I deal with a lot of people, a lot of cases, seeing things that happen before it happens and just giving God the glory to be here to see certain things that wasn’t right,” said self-proclaimed Prophetess Caprece Daniels of Kingdom Blessings Ministries. “At the end of the day, this man has family too.”
Birmingham Police Department spokesperson Lt. Sean Edwards said they are going to let the case play out in court, and declined any further comment.
Patrick Johnson is represented by Birmingham-based defense attorney Charles Salvagio, and California-based attorney Tom Mesereau, who has represented celebrities including pop superstar Michael Jackson and Robert Blake.
Judge Jones set the retrial for September 21, 2015 at 9 a.m.
Since there’s a gag order on the case, we reached out to outside defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Raymond Johnson for legal perspective about the mistrial.
“It shows that there is a defense in this case and it’s going to be aggressively pursued and presented, zealously presented to the jurors. So the prosecution has to be prepared for that. They know probably now where the weaknesses are in their particular case and they’re going to try to shore them up by the time the next trial comes along,” said Johnson of The Johnson Law Firm, LLC.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News