EVERETT — The second-degree manslaughter case against Marysville Police Officer Derek Carlile ended in a mistrial in Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
"The jury reported they were hopelessly deadlocked and would not be able to reach a unanimous decision," said Joan Cavagnaro, chief criminal deputy prosecutor for Snohomish County. "That's what we call a 'hung jury,' and a new trial date was set for January."
According to Cavagnaro, a number of trial observers expressed surprised at this outcome, but the prosecutor's office had anticipated this possibility.
"We knew this would be a difficult case for any jury to consider, so we were prepared for any result," Cavagnaro said of the trial to determine whether Carlile's action or inaction constituted criminal negligence in the death of his 7-year-old daughter, from being shot by his own unsecured handgun on March 10 of this year.
Cavagnaro estimated that the prosecutor's office would make a decision within the next week or two on whether to seek a retrial.
"It's not definite that we will retry this case," Cavagnaro said. "We'll enter into this with the same care and consideration with which we made our first decision to file."
Prosecutors will consider their evidence and how they presented it in this trial.
"Jurors do not have to speak to attorneys following the case, but we will listen if they volunteer to share their observations," Cavagnaro said.
David Allen, one of Carlile's defense attorneys, called upon the prosecutor's office to dismiss their case against Carlile before it can go to trial again.
"They could try the case 20 more times and never do better than a hung jury," Allen said. "It was a tragic accident, not a crime. Derek Carlile has punished himself more than the state ever could. The state took their best shot. It's now time for them to dismiss the case and let everybody more on."
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