2011 Weyers Cave Shooting Suspect Released after Mistrial - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

2011 Weyers Cave Shooting Suspect Released after Mistrial

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Jonathan Van is a free man just hours after he was found guilty of unlawful wounding.

The jury took more than five hours to deliver the guilty verdict but couldn't agree on a sentence. The judge then declared a mistrial.

The judge told defense and prosecutors they could agree to let him sentence Van or have him retried. Now Van will be retried on a charge no more severe than unlawful wounding.

A mistrial in the sentencing phase is very rare.

"Within the 30 plus years of practicing law this is the first time I've had a mistrial at the sentencing stage. I've had mistrials at the guilt and innocence stage, but never at this stage and it's very unique," said Brent Jackson, Van's attorney.

The shooting happened outside the community center in Weyers Cave during a fight between rival gangs. Van's lawyers said the shooting was in self-defense.

The 19-year old victim was shot in the leg and later recovered.

Van will return to court in July to determine if the next trial will be a jury or a bench trial. Until then he remains free on bond.

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