Crime: Mistrial after hung jury in metro Atlanta college student's murder - - PressFrom - US
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CrimeMistrial after hung jury in metro Atlanta college student's murder

22:05  19 july  2019
22:05  19 july  2019 Source:   11alive.com

Charges filed in killing of college student

Charges filed in killing of college student Charges were filed Wednesday morning against the man accused of kidnapping and killing University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck, prosecutors said. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Ayoola Ajayi, 31, is accused of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstructing justice and desecration of a human body, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said at a news conference on Wednesday.

A mistrial was declared Friday in the murder case of a Savannah State University student from Lithonia, Christopher Starks, after a jury could not agree on any of the 10 counts against the man charged in his death.

Closing arguments had been made Thursday in the trial against Justin Devon Stephens, NBC station WSAV in Savannah reported. Stephens was facing charges that included murder and aggravated assault.

Death penalty for Nathaniel Dixon will not be considered

Death penalty for Nathaniel Dixon will not be considered Nathaniel Dixon instead will be sentenced to life for murdering Candace Pickens, who was pregnant, and seriously injuring her 3-year-old.

Starks was shot and killed in 2015 in the student union on the Savannah State campus. The 22-year-old was on a football scholarship and, his family told 11Alve’s Joe Henke ahead of the trial, had a bright future.

“Our goal was to let him go to college. Make sure he goes to college and better himself, and he did that,” Starks’ father, Ray Starks, said in May. “He was where he was supposed to be, and as a father that is what you can really ask.”

RELATED: Family prays as man accused of killing their son at Savannah State prepares to stand trial

According to WSAV, prosecutors framed the case as one in which Stephens escalated a fight into a deadly shooting, with multiple witnesses testifying they saw him shoot Starks.

The defense contended there was not sufficient evidence to clear a reasonable doubt burden.

Murder suspect mistakenly released from Florida jail arrested in Georgia

Murder suspect mistakenly released from Florida jail arrested in Georgia A murder suspect mistakenly released from jail last month has been arrested in Georgia. The Broward Sheriff's Office said Eric Vail was arrested Wednesday evening in Jesup, Georgia. Sheriff's officials said in June they had mistakenly released Vail at the end of May. A statement said officials had received "unequivocal direction" from the state attorney's office that the second-degree murder charge against Vail was dismissed. They said they didn't have any indication that he was to be held on a first-degree murder charge after being indicted in the same case by a grand jury in April. © Broward County Sheriff's Office Eric Vail mugshot So, he was released.

Starks graduated from Miller Grove High School in DeKalb County. His mother told 11Alive in May the family was still seeking closure in her son’s death.

“Christopher did not deserve to lose his life,” Sharon Starks said. “It’s a lot of, ‘Why?’ This didn’t have to happen. It’s just a lot of emotion.”

For nearly three years, police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigated Starks’ murder, but no arrests were made until April 2018, when a grand jury indicted Stephens for felony murder.

In 2016 the family also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Savannah State University – saying that the shooting would have been “preventable” if more security would have been in place.

WSAV reported the judge said the case will be rescheduled, though when is not yet clear.

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