Judge calls for mistrial

RBC I After six weeks, including jury selection, testimony and five days of jury deliberation, Judge Gail Nichols declared a mistrial in the Jerry Snider Jr. murder trial. A new trial has been set to begin May 4.
According to jurors’ notes given to Judge Nichols, the jury had been deadlocked since late Friday afternoon. Nichols called the jury in yesterday at 11:15 and asked jury foreman Mike Brennan, “Is it the collective agreement of the jury that they cannot reach a unanimous decision?” Brennan thought it was doubtful but they wanted to continue trying.
After excusing the jury, Nichols declared a mistrial, then called the jury back to inform them of her decision.
“It’s devastating we couldn’t arrive at a verdict,” Brennan said, trying to compose himself, after the jury was excused.
“It’s disappointing to think the taxpayers will have to pay for this again,” juror Scott Tinervan added.
Jerry Snider Jr., is charged with first degree murder and aggravated robbery in the death of his father, Jerry Snider Sr., in July 2009. Snider Jr. has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and will continue to be held in the Rio Blanco County jail.
“It’s unfortunate but we are going to retry the case and see where the chips fall at that time,” District Attorney Martin Beeson said.
Defense attorney Tina Fang declined to comment pending the new trial but will motion for a “change in venue,” March 4.
“Our goal is to retry the case here,” deputy district attorney Jeff Cheney said. “We are already preparing for a new trial.”