Judge declares mistrial for Madison police officer after jurors say they’re deadlocked

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Eric Parker walks out of the federal courthouse in Huntsville after a judge declared a mistrial in his case on September 11, 2015. (Shane Hays/WHNT News 19)

Eric Parker, a Madison police officer, walks out of the federal courthouse in Huntsville after a judge declared a mistrial in his case on September 11, 2015. (Shane Hays/WHNT News 19)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – After a two-week trial, jurors were ultimately deadlocked trying to reach a verdict on whether a Madison police officer violated a man’s civil rights.  Friday, the jury announced it could go no further in deliberations and the judge declared a mistrial.

Deliberations began Wednesday afternoon.  The jury foreman said no juror had changed his or her opinion since Thursday morning.

Parker hugged friends and family who sat through the trial with him, thanking them for their support.  Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala also went to the jury room to personally thank jurors for their service.

Robert Posey, the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case, said his team will go back and huddle up for next time.

"We intend to retry the case and we look forward to that opportunity. Our team will go back and reassess how we did in this one, and see if there's anything we feel like we ought to do differently," said Posey. "The jury heard all the evidence, and we feel confident the next jury will get to hear all the evidence, and we look forward to having the chance."

Robert Tuten, Eric Parker's attorney, said he'll prepare for the next chance too.

"Both sides would have preferred a clear-cut decision one way or the other, but sometimes we just can't work those things out. In a complicated case like this, I can't say I'm surprised," said Tuten.  "We're not really disappointed or happy, either one. With a complicated case like this, obviously this jury has worked extremely hard. I have no complaints.  Sometimes people have different opinions and can't find some common ground. It means more work, more time, more money, but if we can't get it today, we'll come back when the judge says to do it."

Tuten said his client stands prepared.

"He's ready to come back Monday. If the judge says come back Monday, we'll be here ready to go," Tuten said.

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