Mistrial Declared; Holdout Juror Was in Abusive Marriage
May. 05, 1995
DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (AP) _ A juror who said she had been in an abusive marriage refused to vote to convict a man who claimed he accidentally killed his identical twin brother who had abused him for years.
``She said she could wait until Christmas,'' jury foreman Edward Dover said after Superior Court Judge Robert James declared a mistrial Thursday.
``She said her marriage got to the point where she thought she could kill him (her husband),'' juror Bill Flinn said. ``She bought into the whole battered person syndrome.''
The jury had deliberated for two days in the murder trial of Jeff Henry. A unanimous decision was needed for a conviction.
Henry, 40, was charged with malice murder and felony murder in the 1991 death of Greg Henry. The jury had the option of convicting him on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, but only 11 of the 12 panelists voted for conviction.
The defense portrayed Jeff Henry as meek and fearful of his brother. The judge had turned down a defense request to use ``battered person syndrome'' as a defense.
He told police that he and his twin had a drunken argument on Dec. 16, 1991, at their apartment in Lithia Springs, about 40 miles northwest of Atlanta.
After the argument, Jeff Henry said he thought he heard a gunshot, so he went into his brother's room with a 12-gauge shotgun, and it went off.
``We never said this was a person who should be killed,'' said defense attorney Bruce Harvey. ``But given the relationship and the circumstances, the outcome was reasonable.''
Prosecutor Beau McClain said he will retry the case.