NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A little less than a month after a judge declared a mistrial in his jury trial, a Mount Enterprise man accepted a plea bargain deal of four years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for tying up a Nacogdoches couple and threatening to kill them in February 2014.
O'Brian Duke, 32, appeared in Judge Edwin Klein's 420th Judicial District Court on Monday for a plea bargain hearing. Duke accepted the plea bargain deal shortly before his re-trial was scheduled to begin Monday.
In early December, a Nacogdoches County jury deliberated several hours, but failed to reach a unanimous decision.
Duke, 32, was initially charged with second-degree felony aggravated assault and third-degree felony unlawful restraint. The unlawful restraint charge has since been dropped.
During the trial, the jury heard testimony from the two victims, Scott and Gwen Hamilton. They said that although Duke was a friend, he overstayed his welcome at their house.
While on the stand Scott Hamilton said that he and O'Brian Duke met in jail and would hang out from time to time. On the morning of February 9th, 2014, Duke was visiting the Hamiltons, and when they asked him to leave, he turned on them.
"He barricaded the door," Scott Hamilton said.
Gwen Hamilton later took the stand and told the jury that Duke barricaded the door with their recliner.
"He then told us to sit down," Gwen Hamilton said.
The couple said that Scott tried to reason with O'Brian Duke, but it made things worse.
"He slapped me," Scott Hamilton said. "He then tossed a pair of shoe strings and said tie yourself up."
The couple said they complied with O'Brian Duke's orders because he had a steak knife in his hand.
"Scott tied my hands to his ankles," Gwen said. "I thought I was going to die."
The couple were held hostage for hours in their apartment located in the 2100 block of Pearl Street. However, after they begged O'Brian Duke, they were set free.