A jury had been chosen and opening statements had been given by Marquette Wolf as Special Prosecutor and the defense for Dallas County Constable Derick Evans and on Tuesday, the trial had witnesses on the stand in the criminal trial where Constable Evans faced charges of engaging in organized crime.
There were some problems: one juror was late, another called in with an emergency and had to be replaced with an alternate, and witness Jim Foster, former Dallas County Judge, couldn't respond to his subpoena to appear and testify because he's in the hospital having just had serious lung surgery.
But nothing was as big a problem as what happened to cause the trial court to declare a mistrial in the case. Seems that after the prosecution put on its case and Evans presented his defense, the jury was sent back to deliberate and got stuck.
Judge Tracy Holmes got a note from the jury room that the twelve jurors were "hopelessly deadlocked," and then another one, and then a third. Deadlocked, Deadlocked, Deadlocked. Stubborn folk on both sides of guilty versus innocent. (The Dallas Morning News reports they were 7 to 5, guilty vs. innocent.)
So Judge Holmes declared a mistrial and Constable Evans went back to work and the prosecution told the media that they're not giving up. Another trial is being scheduled for April 2012.
What Did Dallas County Constable Derick Evans Allegedly Do?
Formally, Constable Evans has been accused of participating in organized crime. Sounds very TV Law and Order, doesn't it, until you learn that he's purportedly run a raffle to get funds to run his election campaign and allegedly pressured his deputies and staff to buy and promote the $50 raffle tickets. Under Texas law, only certain groups (like churches) are legally allowed to run raffles to raise money. Now, it's sounding less like TV's Law and Order isn't it?
And, here's a big question -- what about the media reports about other local campaign raffles, are they going to get prosecuted as well?