After deliberating for more than eight hours, the jury in the Luther Parker Hinesly trial remained split. Judge Brad Underwood declared a mistrial.
Luther Parker Hinesly is accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old boy. The boy attended Hinesly's all boys daycare, Platinum Learning Center for Boys. The trial started on Monday, and Tuesday, reached closing arguments.
The state told the jury the evidence clearly proved his guilt, while the defense claimed the boy's testimony wasn't reliable. The defense blamed the boy's mother for neglect and abuse. However, the jury couldn't reach a unanimous decision. "The judge declared a mistrial in this case. We are disappointed that the jury was unable to reach a verdict," says Rod Hobson, special prosecutor.
A mistrial means that this case will start again with the same testimonies and the same evidence, but a different panel of jurors. "My client has maintained his innocence as to these charges, and he intends to vigorously defend himself against them," says Chuck Lanehart, defense attorney.
If convicted, Hinesly faces five years probation up to life in prison.