Muncie man's attempted murder trial ends with hung jury

·1 min read
Muncie police responded to a house along West Euclid Avenue on the early morning of Oct. 18, 2019, after receiving reports of seven people being shot.
Muncie police responded to a house along West Euclid Avenue on the early morning of Oct. 18, 2019, after receiving reports of seven people being shot.

MUNCIE, Ind. — A Muncie man's attempted murder trial ended Monday night with a hung jury.

Delaware Circuit Court 2 Judge Kimberly Dowling declared a mistrial about 9:15 p.m. after jurors in the case of 22-year-old Vashaun Letrell Harnett told her they could not reach a verdict.

The jury had started deliberations about 2:45 p.m.

A new trial date has not yet been set.

The attempted murder charge against Harnett stemmed from the shooting — on Oct. 18, 2019 — of Tyler Childers, now 21, outside a home in the 2400 block of West Euclid Avenue.

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Prosecutors Zach Craig and Andrew Ramirez did not dispute Harnett's claim of self defense in the shootings of six other people, one fatally, in the house, west of the Ball State University campus, where a party was being held.

In a statement to police, Harnett said he began firing gunshots after one of the persons shot — Spelmon S. Allen IV, now 22 — had pointed his own handgun at both the defendant and Harnett's girlfriend.

Another shooting victim, 17-year-old Daymarr "Scooter" Kennedy of Muncie, died two days after being wounded.

However, the prosecutors contended Harnett's shooting a few minutes later of Childers, who was standing over the wounded Allen outside the house, was not in self defense.

Defense attorneys William Summerfield and Grey Harris maintained their client was acting in self defense when he shot Childers.

Harnett told police he believed Childers — who did not show up to testify at the trial — was trying to gain access to Allen's handgun.

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Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at dwalker@muncie.gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Delaware County jury unable to reach verdict in attempted murder case

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