UPDATE: Mistrial Declared for 6 Defendants in Quick Murder Trial
A federal judge has granted a mistrial for the six alleged gang members on trial in connection with the murder of Waynesboro Police Reserve Captain Kevin Quick.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A federal judge has granted a mistrial for the six alleged gang members on trial in connection with the murder of Waynesboro Police Reserve Captain Kevin Wayne Quick. U.S. District Court Judge Glen E. Conrad's decision came down Tuesday after a lot of legal wrangling that will mean some big changes for this case.
In the morning, a mistrial was declared for Anthony Stokes, Gert Wright, Mersadies Shelton and Shantai Shelton. The two other defendants - Daniel Lamont Mathis and Travis Bell (also known as Kweli Uhuru) - wanted to move forward with the case, but were later granted a mistrial as well.
A mistrial - when a judge determines a mistake has been made and the trial must be started again from the beginning with a new jury - was declared after a list of potential jurors in the trial was compromised.
Federal court transcripts show that on Thursday, May 7, a U.S. marshal discovered one of the defendants in this case got a list of the 134 potential jurors, including the 16 impaneled jurors, and made copies at the jail in Orange. The list contained the juror's names, years of birth, last four digits of their social security numbers, spouse's occupations, number of children and addresses. Authorities did not identify which defendant had the list.
Judge Conrad sent out notification letters to all of the jurors explaining what happened and the investigation into how the names got out. Tuesday morning, attorneys for Mersadies and Shantai Shelton, Halisi Uhuru and Anthony Stokes successfully argued for a mistrial. Their defense said they felt the letters to jurors could cause the jury to have prejudice against their clients.
Tuesday afternoon, a four-hour closed meeting was held between the judge, attorneys, and the jury to find out if the developments would affect the jury's ability to be impartial moving forward with the trial against the two other defendants. According to Judge Conrad, 12 jurors said they were willing to move forward with the trial and be impartial. The defense attorneys disagreed and motioned for a mistrial. That motion was granted.
Judge Conrad says there is no date set yet for when all six defendants will be tried again. He also says it is highly unlikely this case could be tried in Charlottesville anytime this year, because the jury pool has been exhausted.
All six of the defendants are facing life in prison for what the prosecution says was a criminal enterprise that conspired to commit burglaries, robberies and murder. Federal prosecutors say the group is comprised of members of the "99 Goonz Syndikate" and associated with the Bloods street gang.
Forty-five-year-old Kevin Quick was reported missing on Feb. 1, 2014. On January 31, 2014, he left his mother's house in Afton to visit his daughter in Albemarle County. He never made it to see his daughter, and did not show up at his brother's birthday party the next day. After a week of searching, crews found Quick's body in Goochland County.
Click here for our full coverage of the investigation into the death of Kevin Quick.