STARKVILLE— The first-degree murder trial of Aviante Jordan ended in a mistrial Thursday night due to a hung jury.
An Oktibbeha County Circuit Court jury deliberated for more than seven hours following the three-day trial but failed to reach a unanimous verdict.
Laterrence McCarter, 23, was found shot dead in Brookville Garden on Nov. 24, 2019. Police responded to the shooting at 1:45 p.m. and found the body on Highland Avenue, The Dispatch previously reported.
The next day, Aviante Jordan, who was 16 at the time of the incident, was arrested. By January 2021, he had been indicted for first-degree murder.
During the trial, defense attorney Austin Vollor said Jordan was involved in a fight that involved 15 to 16 teenagers, among others, leading up to the shooting.
After Jordan lost the fight, he allegedly took a gun from its owner, Lakorian Stewart, 31, and fired at McCarter through the rear window of his car. McCarter was shot six times in the back.
Stewart was also arrested at the time for conspiracy to commit a crime.
In closing arguments Thursday, Vollor claimed Stewart was the one who actually shot McCarter, since he was the only person who brought a firearm to the fight.
“There was one person in all of the evidence that came out that had a gun,” Vollor said. “A 31-year-old man had a gun and walked up on the scene. … He was the one that had it hidden afterwards. He was the one that ended up with the gun afterwards.”
Assistant District Attorney Marc Amos, lead prosecutor for the case, countered by reminding the jury that the defense had not called its own eyewitnesses to confirm Jordan’s story.
“Thirty people that Aviante knew witnessed what happened that day,” Amos said. “He didn’t call a single eyewitness. Not a single eyewitness … said Lakorian Stewart did that.”
Judge Lee “Jay” Howard V declared the mistrial, meaning a new jury will be convened for a new trial. After the trial, Assistant District Attorney Marc Amos told The Dispatch that the jury was deadlocked 10-2, though he could not divulge whether the majority leaned toward conviction or acquittal.
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