Judge or­ders mis­trial af­ter juror goes into la­bor

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY JOE MARUSAK [email protected]­lot­teob­server.com The Ob­server’s Michael Gordon con­trib­uted. Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

A judge de­clared a mis­trial in a Char­lotte mur­der case Thurs­day af­ter a juror “went into pre­ma­ture la­bor,” ac­cord­ing to a Meck­len­burg County Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice news re­lease.

The juror went into la­bor be­fore de­lib­er­a­tions were to re­sume Thurs­day morn­ing, pros­e­cu­tors said in the re­lease.

De­lib­er­a­tions be­gan Wed­nes­day in the first­de­gree mur­der trial of 32-year-old Lionel Oc­tavius Price.

Price, 32, was charged in the 2016 killing of 40year-old Fredrick Ant­wone But­ler.

But­ler was shot mul­ti­ple times in a house on Helms Road, off Tom Sadler Road and near Mount Holly Road in north­west Char­lotte, the Ob­server re­ported at the time.

The trial be­gan Jan. 7 be­fore Su­pe­rior Court Judge Gre­gory Hayes, ac­cord­ing to the D.A.’s re­lease. Price also was charged with first-de­gree bur­glary in the case.

Hayes de­clared a mis­trial be­cause state law bars judges from re­plac­ing a juror with an al­ter­nate juror af­ter de­lib­er­a­tions have be­gun, pros­e­cu­tors said in the re­lease. Hayes de­clined com­ment when reached by the Ob­server.

The case “re­mains pend­ing,” ac­cord­ing to the D.A.’s re­lease.

“The Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice wishes the juror and her fam­ily well,” ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease.

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