The trial of a man involved in a high speed crash that killed a Prince George’s County Police officer last year has ended in a mistrial. One of the jurors told the judge via email Thursday morning that judging others was a violation of her religion as a Jehovah’s Witness. The Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office says the nullification issue led to the mistrial.
Kevon Darnell Neal, 23, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and fleeing and eluding following the death of officer Adrian Morris 23. Morris and his partner were pursuing a stolen silver Acura when their cruiser ran off Interstate 95 near the Powder Mill Road exit in August 2012. Morris died after being ejected from the vehicle. Police said he was not wearing a seatbelt.
Both Neal and his passenger, Kenneth Clark Mitchell, 25, were arrested within two days of the crash. Mitchell, of Northeast D.C., pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle last October and was sentenced to time served.Those called for jury duty in the state of Maryland are required to fill out a questionnaire to make sure they’re legally qualified to serve.According to the tcounty’s website, no one can be kept from serving on a jury because of their race, religion, or economic status, but a person can be “disqualified” or “exempt” from being on a jury for other reasons.
It’s not clear whether the jury mentioned her religious objections before the trial began.
A decision on a retrial has not been made.