After deliberating for nine hours over a two day span, a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the murder trial against 26-year-old Julian Mickel.
"I think we're disappointed that the jury couldn't reach a unanimous decision,” said Mickel’s attorney Alison Scarpitti. “But, we certainly understand that they worked hard. They put a lot of hours into this.”
Mickel's charged with fatally shooting 24-year-old Jaree Warren in a West 18th Street parking lot on December 6, 2014.
During two days of testimony, a prosecution witness said he saw Mickel shoot Warren. The witness also told the court that before Warren died, he named Mickel as the shooter.
The lead investigator of this case also told the jury that Mickel was convicted of firing a gun at Warren a month before the murder.
"This is a difficult case that falls on the testimony of witnesses,” said Erie County Assistant District Attorney Michael Garcia. “There's not an overwhelming amount of physical evidence in the case, so anytime it's this way, it's going to be a difficult choice for the jury."
However, two defense witnesses said that the shooter was not Mickel, but a much shorter man. In the end, the trial ended with a hung jury.
"I think that he (Mickel) is glad that it wasn't a conviction,” said Scarpitti. “He would be disappointed that they couldn't reach a unanimous acquittal."
Even though the jury did not reach a verdict, the Erie County District Attorney's Office plans to take this case back to court.
"We got about three months to try to get it scheduled again,” said Garcia. “We do intend to retry the case."