Hung Jury in Jacobsen Trial
After almost four days of jury deliberations, a Benton County judge declares a mistrial in the case of a former nanny accused of being responsible for the death of the one-year-old child she was watching over nearly two years ago.
The judge declared a mistrial in Kelli Jacobsen's case this afternoon, after the jury came back to court and said they could not reach a verdict.
Jacobsen is charged with first degree aggravated manslaughter in the June 2011 death of Ryder Morrison.
The jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon, and they deliberated until this morning.
When the jury came back into the court room this afternoon, the judge asked the presiding juror if there is a chance the jury could reach an agreement within a reasonable amount of time.
The presiding juror said no, and the judge immediately declared a mistrial.
Jacobsen sat in her chair during the announcement.
She did not say anything, and barely moved until she got up to leave moments later.
Prosecuting and defense attorneys say they are not surprised with the ruling.
"Baby homicide cases are very difficult because you don't have witnesses, you don't have some of the obvious evidence you have in other cases, and so these are challenging cases. And so I'm not surprised at all" said Andy Miller, Benton County prosecutor.
"I was confident that it would be very difficult for 12 people to agree one way or another on this decision. Obviously, an acquittal would have been better for Kelli, but given the nature of the case, this was expected, and we're happy with it" said Scott Johnson, Jacobsen's attorney.
After the hearing ended, many friends and family of Ryder walked out of the courtroom in tears.
They did not want to comment on the jury's decision.
Miller says he plans to re-try the case.
A hearing is scheduled for next Thursday to determine how to move forward.