The jury deliberating the fate of a Mesquite police officer accused of shooting an unarmed man was dismissed Thursday after failing to reach a unanimous verdict, resulting in a mistrial.
Former officer Derick Wiley was charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant for shooting an unarmed man, Lyndo Jones, while on duty Nov. 8, 2017.
The jury reconvened Thursday morning after deliberating for five hours Wednesday afternoon. While nearing the 11th hour of deliberation, the jury notified the judge they were unable to reach a unanimous decision.
The judge then discharged the jury, saying he’d no longer burden them with this case, and declared a mistrial. Wiley's attorney told NBC 5 the jury was deadlocked at 8-4, in favor of a Not Guilty verdict.
Outside the courtroom, Jones said Thursday afternoon that they will be back -- indicating he wants to take the case to trial again.
Wiley left without speaking with the media. His attorney, Kathy Lowthorp, said her client is relieved.
"Well, he gets to go home today," she said. "He's not facing prison today and so that is some relief because you can imagine the stress he's under right now."
Wiley previously appealed his termination from the Mesquite Police Department.
Meanwhile, attorneys representing Jones in his civil lawsuit against the city of Mesquite and Wiley spoke out after the mistrial.
"It is disappointing that a Dallas County jury given the facts, given this video, it's clear that what was done against Mr. Jones was a violation of his civil rights, was a violation against the Constitution, was far beyond what a police officer should be doing," said attorney Lee Merritt. "We have a long way to go if a jury can't automatically come back with a guilty verdict for this officer. But we will continue to push until we get there."
The Dallas County District Attorney's Office has not said if they will retry the case -- that'll be up to DA Faith Johnson. In a statement Thursday afternoon, the DA's office said they respect the jury's decision and thanked them for their service, but the statement didn't offer any other clues as to whether or not they'd pursue the case further.
“My office remains committed to fighting for justice no matter who is accused of a crime. Let there be no doubt, that this office will never show any special consideration for anyone regardless of the position they hold in society. Our track record makes it abundantly clear with every case we handle that we will continue to fight for the citizens of Dallas County,” said Johnson.
Closing Statements; Jury Has the Case
Attorneys with both the prosecution and defense offered animated closing statements Wednesday. Prosecutors argued that Wiley acted unreasonably when he shot Jones in the back, citing body camera video shown during the trial that captures Jones begging Wiley not to shoot him.
On the night of the shooting, Wiley answered an emergency call of a possible vehicle burglary in progress. When he arrived and approached Jones, he thought a crime was taking place. He was mistaken since Jones was the owner of the vehicle.
The defense argued the former Mesquite officer thought Jones had a gun and if Jones completely complied with commands, he would not have been shot.
Wiley became emotional when he took the stand Monday, explaining to the court why he believed Jones was burglarizing a truck when he confronted him and what happened after he demanded Jones get on the ground after he turned his back.
Jones, who owned the truck, testified that he got lost on his way home from work, decided to pull into the business' parking lot and began to smoke marijuana and do cocaine before he was confronted.
While testifying Monday, Wiley said his intention that night was to handcuff Jones on the ground. When asked why by a defense attorney, Wiley put his hands on his face, became emotional and said, "because I thought he had a weapon."
If convicted, Wiley faced between 5 and 99-years behind bars.
NBC 5's Maria Guerrero and Courtney Gilmore contributed to this report.