Mistrial Declared in the Steven Jones/NAU Murder Trial

Back on April 18 I was interviewed at length on the murder trial of Steven Jones, a Northern Arizona University student who in October 2015 shot and killed another student, and wounded others, after being physically attacked.  Jones would claim his conduct was lawfully justified self-defense.  You can hear that interview here:  Andrew Interviewed by LawNewz on Steven Jones/NAU Murder Trial.

When asked for a prediction of the trial outcome I said:

On the law and the pure facts as I understand them to be, I think the defendant has a reasonably robust claim of self-defense here that will be difficult for the prosecution to overcome.

At the same time I recognize that there is a lot, a tremendous amount of emotion wrapped up in this case, especially emotion within the community, and the jurors are from that community. So whether that will influence their decision-making, only they can know.

I knew the case had gone to the jury for deliberations soon after my interview, but realized today I hadn’t heard anything about a verdict, so I decided to check in.  The result:  on May 2, trial Judge Dan Slayton declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to come to a verdict after a week of deliberations, according to KPNX news and other sources.

Here’s a video clip of Judge Slayton declaring a mistrial and tentatively scheduling a retrial for August 2017:

As a criminal defense attorney, I’ll count a mistrial as a “win” for the defense, and my prediction correct. Another one in the win column for Law of Self Defense. 🙂

About the Author

Andrew Branca
Andrew F. Branca, Esq. is currently in his third decade of practicing law, and is an internationally-recognized expert on the law of self-defense of the United States. Andrew is a Guest Lecturer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, a former Guest Instructor at the Sig Sauer Academy, an NRA Life-Benefactor Member, and an NRA Certified Instructor. He also teaches lawyers how to argue self-defense cases as a certified instructor with the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) system in numerous states around the country. Andrew is also a host on the Outdoor Channel’s TV show “The Best Defense” and contributor to the National Review Online. Andrew has been quoted as a SME (subject-matter expert) on use-of-force law by the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and many other mainstream media, including nationally syndicated broadcast media. Recently, Andrew won the UC Berkeley Law School debate on “Stand-Your-Ground,” and spoke at the NRA Annual Meeting Law Symposium on self-defense law. He is also a founding member of USCCA’s Legal Advisory Board. In addition to being a lawyer, Andrew is also a competitive handgun shooter, an IDPA Charter/Life member (IDPA #13), and a Master-class competitor in multiple IDPA divisions.

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