Mistrial declared in Arkansas parking lot shooting case
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — A mistrial has been declared in the second trial of an Arkansas man accused of fatally shooting another man over a parking space.
Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson agreed Tuesday to grant a defense motion for a mistrial in Marvin Arrell Stanton’s murder case, The Texarkana Gazette reported . At issue was a recent jailhouse interview Stanton’s attorney conducted with Lavon Strong, a key witness for the state.
Prosecutors brought up concerns over the interview transcript’s authenticity and accuracy. They also said they weren’t given the chance to review the transcript or recording as evidence prior to the trial, which began Monday .
Defense attorney Patrick Benca said he only planned to use the transcript to refresh Strong’s memory and wasn’t going to use it as an exhibit for the jury to consider. He later requested the mistrial, noting that he’s no longer eligible to act as lead defense attorney because he may be needed to testify about the interview.
Stanton’s next trial date hasn’t been scheduled.
Stanton was initially convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2016 in the shooting death of Jesse James Hamilton. During that trial, witnesses testified that a fight began between the men in the parking lot of a gas station after Hamilton parked in Stanton’s preferred spot. Stanton said he fired in self-defense after Hamilton attempted to knock him down.
The Arkansas Supreme Court tossed the conviction last year, arguing that testimony about Stanton’s prior aggressive conduct shouldn’t have been admitted.
Information from: Texarkana Gazette, http://www.texarkanagazette.com