February 9, 2012
By Jennifer Richardson
EUGENE, Ore. — A jury couldn’t decide on guilt or innocence in the case of Angelica Swartout.
She’s accused of murdering her baby.
KEZI sat down with a local defense attorney who did not serve on the Swartout case but says a hung jury usually bodes well for the defense because simply it doesn’t mean their client was convicted.
Defense attorney Andrew Coit says leading up until the new trial in April, the prosecution could always opt out of retrying this case.
Coit says that doesn’t seem likely given the seriousness of the charge.
He says a case of this magnitude is very costly because of all the law enforcement, attorneys and expert witnesses involved.
The mistrial though will be a valuable tool.
“The hung jury gives them essentially a chance to look at what they did, look at how they tried the case. I’m sure they both wish they could have done things differently from the outcome, and I think there will be a more streamlined case the second time around,” Coit said.
Coit says the defendant usually remains behind bars until the new trial and the same judge usually presides over the retrial.
Coit says a hung jury is also very hard on the jurors because they have a lot of energy and emotion invested in the case and there will be lots of frustration because they were unable to finalize the case.