Jury deadlocked, mistrial declared in UP Mall fatal shooting trial

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The jury deliberated for just 2.5 hours before telling the court they were deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous verdict. The judge declared a mistrial in the murder trial of Dazhon Howard.

Howard is facing one count of murder in the death of Delaney Crosby at the University Park Mall in September 2020.

At the end of the day Wednesday, the defense rested its case after Howard testified.

Thursday, the fourth day of trail, the state presented a rebuttal witness, Detective Timothy Wiley, then the defense called Howard back to the stand as a rebuttal witness.

The state brought Wiley to the stand to present a Facebook conversation between Howard and another person where he discussed a shooting that happened in Benton Harbor in August 2020.

The messages said Howard didn’t know who shot up his vehicle that day in Benton Harbor and included video showing the gunshots on his vehicle.

An audio clip made by Howard said the shooting was connected to an incident at a gas station and might have been a case of mistaken identity.

The defense called Howard back to the stand. He said he didn’t say who shot his vehicle up for fear of retaliation. When he took the stand on Wednesday, he said Crosby shot his vehicle.

Both sides then presented closing arguments.

The state says Howard shot Crosby as he was walking away. And that Howard shot in order to save his reputation.

The defense said Howard shot Crosby in self-defense because the other times he encountered Crosby, Crosby had a gun.

The jury received the case around 12:30 p.m. Following 2 and a half hours of deliberations, they sent a note to the judge that they could not reach a unanimous verdict.

When the jury was brought into the room, the judge asked if there was anything that could be done to help them reach an agreement. The foreperson said no.

The judge then declared a mistrial.

After the mistrial was declared, the court scheduled a status hearing for April 13.

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