A deadlocked jury in the Shannon Beauford vehicular homicide case led Judge Jason Deal to declare a mistrial Friday, Jan. 13.
Beauford, 28, of Gainesville, faced two counts of first-degree vehicular homicide and one count of second-degree child cruelty from the Oct. 4, 2020 wreck that killed his 17-year-old passenger, Madison Gray.
The jury deliberated more than six hours combined across Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning after first taking the case around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Deal received a note Thursday that the jury was split 9-3 on the vehicular homicide charge and 8-4 on the child cruelty charge, though they were instructed not to indicate whether they were leaning to convict or acquit Beauford.
The jury returned for deliberations at 9 a.m. Friday, and Deal declared the mistrial around 10 a.m. Friday.
A representative from Deal’s office said it could possibly be retried in February or March.
Upon hearing news of the mistrial, Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney said it is his intention to retry the case before a new jury.
Defense attorney Karen Pass said Beauford has maintained his innocence since the beginning.
From speaking with jurors after the mistrial was declared, Pass said it appeared the jury was still split 9-3 on the vehicular homicide count.
The defense focused much of its argument to the jury about the items on which they felt law enforcement did not fully follow through, including another man’s ID being found in the car.