Judge in “21st and Vietnam” Murder Trial Denies Motion for Mistrial, After Releasing Another Juror

A jury that has been deliberating for more than two weeks in a DC murder case was excused Thursday morning after the judge in the case decided to remove one juror from the group.

It is the third time a juror has been dismissed from service in the case, which began June 25.

The case alleges that Anthony Hatton, Jekwan Smith, Johnnie Harris, and Stanley Moghalu are members of a crew called “21st and Vietnam,” which is alleged to be responsible for the deaths of Tyrell Fogle, Isaiah Sheffield and Steven Moore.

Jurors began deliberating Aug. 20 and have met for a total of 10 days.

According to court dockets, on four of those days jurors have been delayed due to issues with a juror being dismissed. Jurors have also never deliberated for more than three and a half days before having to restart deliberations in the case.

On August 26 a juror was released due to medical issues, and three days later a second juror was asked to leave after other jurors complained he was sleeping during deliberations.

On Thursday, another juror was released after not reporting to court earlier this week. Before releasing him, Judge Henry Greene questioned the juror on his attendance.

Greene said that in that conversation the juror said he had used illegal drugs over the weekend to ease the pain from health issues and because of the drug use, did not come to court.

The seriousness of his misconduct bespeaks that he is not able to fairly serve on this jury,” Greene said.

Greene denied a defense motion for mistrial while handling this matter Thursday.

With each dismissal of a juror an alternate has been appointed. Three alternate jurors remain in the pool, should any other issues come up during deliberations.

Jurors in the case are expected back Monday to restart deliberations.

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