Mistrial declared in accused cop killer's retrial - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mistrial declared in accused cop killer's retrial

Timothy McKinney Timothy McKinney

(WMC-TV) - After multiple attempts and hours of deliberation, a jury informed the judge it was not able to reach a unanimous verdict in the retrial of the man convicted of killing a Memphis police officer.

Judge Lee Coffee declared a mistrial Monday afternoon after several attempts by the jury to agree on a verdict.

Since Timothy McKinney's conviction in 1999, he has waited on death row as his defense attorneys tried to prove it was someone else who pulled the trigger at a local comedy club in 1997. In 2010, he was granted the new trial after claims that he received ineffective counsel.

When the jury informed Judge Lee Coffee they were not able to reach a verdict, he polled the jurors asking each one individually if, given more time, they would be able to reach a unanimous decision. Five jurors answered ‘yes' and were sent to continue deliberations.

"We'll instruct you to resume deliberations on this case until you agree to reach a unanimous verdict," said Judge Coffee. "If you can, you will report that to the court. If all 12 members tell us you can't reach a unanimous verdict, we'll address that."

After further deliberation, the jurors announced they were still not able to reach a unanimous decision.

"There was a group of people deciding with state and a group deciding with the defense. What the numbers are, I couldn't tell you. I'm not surprised. Look at the proof in this case, to be honest with you, I'm not surprised," said McKinney's Defense Attorney Gerald Skahan.

During McKinney's first trial, he was found guilty of shooting officer Don Williams. At the time, Williams was working as a security guard at Crumpy's Comedy Club.

According to prosecutors, Williams threw McKinney out of the club. He later returned and Williams was shot in the confrontation.

During the retrial, McKinney's defense team tried convincing the jury that he was not the gunman who shot Williams.

During closing arguments, prosecutors relied heavily on officer Frank Lee's eyewitness testimony. Lee was Williams' security partner at the club. He identified McKinney as the shooter.

Prosecutors declined to speak after closing arguments, but McKinney's attorneys said they were confident in their defense.

Since the jury was not able to come up with a unanimous decision, the case will be retried. A new trial date should be scheduled after a meeting next Tuesday.

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