Judge declares mistrial in Deguair murder case

Judge declares mistrial in Deguair murder case
Jermaine Duckworth
Jermaine Duckworth

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After several days of deliberations, the trial for a man accused of an execution-style slaying in Leeward Oahu ended with a hung jury Monday.

This was not a case of one or two jurors holding out. The lawyer for Patrick Deguair, Jr. says the panel was split down the middle, with six people believing Deguair committed the murder and the other six believing prosecutors didn't prove their case.

Jurors deciding the defendant's fate deliberated for six grueling days, before announcing they were hopelessly deadlocked on murder, kidnapping and firearms charges.

"The prosecution respects their service and the time dedicated," Scott Bell, deputy prosecutor, said. "It's unfortunate they could not reach a unanimous decision as to all counts."

The jury did reach a verdict of not guilty on two drug counts.

"At least he's happy with the outcome for today," Neal Kugiya, defense attorney, said. "He's willing and able to, you know, do the trial again at any time. So we'll be ready."

Prosecutors say Deguair used a gun with a silencer to shoot Jermaine Duckworth, 24, in the back of the head, and then pushed him off a cliff near Kaena Point in March 2008.

They say the victim had given police information about a home invasion in Maili that both were suspected of being involved in. Several men donning ski masks and Drug Enforcement Agency t-shirts stormed into the house, and demanded money and other items.

"Those cases will be pushed back as well," Kugiya said. "So we'll just take one thing at a time."

The defense suggests Duckworth's killer is David Teo, who took the witness stand for the prosecution. Teo admitted to selling the murder weapon, but testified Deguair told him to get rid of it.

During deliberations, jurors wanted to review what Teo said.

"They did request a transcript of his testimony," Bell said. "A transcript was provided. What inferences or conclusions they drew from that, I can not say at this point."

The hung jury means there will have to be another trial.

"They tried their best and we appreciate that," Kugiya said.

The re-trial is scheduled to begin February 22nd.

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