Hung jury in Manor case; retrial vowed - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Hung jury in Manor case; retrial vowed

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

After six hours deliberating, it's a hung jury in the trial of Carlos Manor, accused of killing Brandon Dicks in 2010. Judge Clayton Davis declared a mistrial in the case, late this afternoon, after it became clear the jury was deadlocked.

Prosecutors say they will retry Manor.

The defense characterized the case as one of confusion, yet one where the prosecutor argued the totality of the evidence showed Manor should be convicted of second degree murder.  But with witness credibility problems and reluctance to talk-- it was obviously not an open and shut case.

 Family members of Brandon Dicks had hoped for justice and now still wait. Says his mother Joyce Spillman, "I thought it was going to be justice today but I see that it's not and it's just bringing me back to it again."

His Grandmother Georgiana Ross stood outside the courthouse in tears. She said, "I'm just devastated because they keep putting my life in a nightmare that I thought would be over with. I try to put it behind me and the more I try the worse it gets."

Yet Dicks' step grandfather Joseph Ross is optimistic about when the state retries Manor.  "I was worried that he may have been acquitted, the way things were lingering on. But the way it came out, we have another shot. And I've been advised they'll be able to get together and sharpen their pencils and this time we'll be able to get more evidence, more pertinent evidence."

The shooting happened at Stephenie Bellard's trailer. She says Manor used to be her boyfriend and she thinks she was the target. "To tell you the truth I think Brandon was just at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Bellard.

However Manor's family supports him. His sister, Latrice Coleman says her brother should never have been brought to trial. "He spent two years in jail behind hearsay. They had no evidence...they had nothing from day one to arrest him. They arrested him and his girlfriend and they didn't have any evidence. They released her. I feel strongly that when they released her they should've released him but they didn't. I feel that they need to get out there and really do their job and find out who did this," said Coleman.

Before excusing the jury Judge Davis did compliment jurors for their hard work. A vote of ten to two would have been required for a verdict. We don't know how close or far apart they were-- only that they were deadlocked.

See a chronology of our coverage throughout the day below, most recent to first.

At 4 p.m.

A hung jury was the result today in the 22nd degree murder trial of Carlos Manor.

Manor is accused of killing Brandon Dicks, 22, who was shot five times in a trailer park off Avenue D and pronounced dead at the scene June 14, 2010.

Theresa Schmidt is in court and will continue to keep you updated.

 


About 11:30 a.m.

After being out for an hour and a half, the jury in the murder trial of Carlos Manor sent a list of requests to the judge.

 They wanted to see various items including statements given to police by various witnesses, surveillance video, crime scene video and photos of a white car allegedly connected to the case.

Manor is accused of killing Brandon Dicks, 22, who was shot five times in a trailer park off Avenue D and pronounced dead at the scene June 14, 2010.

Regarding the evidence, the judge said no because those items were never introduced into evidence.

However, the jury was allowed to have the photo lineup first presented to Josh Smith, crime scene pictures, shell casings, an easel with a diagram of the scene used during testimony by a crime scene investigation and photos of the white car. 

Jury deliberations continued.

KPLC will continue to keep you updated as the trial goes on.


At 10:04 a.m.

The 2nd degree murder case of Carlos Manor is now in the hands of the jury.   

In closing arguments, defense attorney Donald Guidry said the state's case has been nothing but confusing.  

Guidry says the state has failed to prove that Manor had anything to do with the killing of 22-year-old Brandon Dicks, and pointed out credibility problems with each of the state's non law enforcement witnesses.  

Guidry argued that the testimony about Manor seeking a throw away gun and hiding his Cadillac is no proof he killed Dicks. He also argued key witness Josh Smith, who was 15-years-old and with Dicks when he was murdered, failed to pick Manor out of a photo lineup.  

Prosecutor Jonathan Blake said the young eye witness was scared and that's why he didn't identify Manor at first. Blake encouraged the jury to consider the totality of the evidence and convict Manor for executing Dicks.  

Dicks was shot five times in a trailer park off Avenue D and pronounced dead at the scene June 14 2010.

The jury went out at 10:04 this morning. 

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