HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) - After a jury couldn't reach an unanimous decision in a Sabine County negligent homicide case, a mistrial was declared Wednesday.
Johnnie Sampson Deshandrick Sampson, 32, of Baytown, was accused in the death of a man who was a passenger in a pickup when he allegedly ran a stop sign and collided with an 18-wheeler om September of 2014.
The case will be re-tried at an unspecified later date.
The jury started deliberating Sampson's guilt or innocence Tuesday afternoon, and they continued Wednesday morning.
In his closing arguments, Sabine County District Attorney Kevin Dutton told the jury that the state presented plenty of evidence to suggest that Sampson was behind the wheel during the time of the crash, which occurred on September 30, 2014.
Dutton said that case boils down to who was driving and through witness testimony, there was plenty of evidence that leaves no room for questions or doubt. Dutton said it's not possible for Larry Fike, the man who died at the scene, to be ejected from the driver's side of the truck.
The defense attorney, Julie Conn, argued that even through witness testimony there were conflicting answers from at least two of the witnesses when they said that Sampson may have been in the backseat or in the middle part of the truck.
She argued that there isn't enough evidence to suggest that Sampson was driving at the time of the crash and the state had not presented enough proof. Conn also said the state hadn't disproved the testimonies that Sampson was in the backseat.
After the state rested their case Monday, the defense presented two witnesses to testify on Sampson's behalf. Both people told the jury that at the time Sampson was in the hospital, he was under medication but was seated and eating a meal. It was at this time, an aunt to Sampson told the jury, that Sampson told her that he had been driving that day, but not during the time of the wreck.