Daren Vaughn Found Innocent of Most Serious Murder Charge, Burglary, and Assault

After two days of deliberations, jurors in the trial of Daren Vaughn reached a partial verdict Wednesday, announcing Vaughn innocent of first-degree premeditated murder in connection to the death of Tyrell Swann.

Vaughn was also acquitted of burglary and assault charges, though jurors did find Vaughn guilty of one count of carrying a dangerous weapon.

Judge John Ramsey Johnson ordered the jury to come back Thursday morning and deliberate on the final remaining charge: voluntary manslaughter while armed.

In a note filed Wednesday afternoon, jurors told Judge Johnson they have been unable to come to a conclusion for that charge, asking, “How long do we need to sit before we are hung?”

During the six day trial defense attorney Jacqueline Cadman argued Vaughn stabbed Swann with a pocket knife in self-defense to stop Swann from choking him.

But prosecutors argued that Vaughn acted in anger, not in self-defense, when he stabbed his best friend and neighbor, Swann, on September 27, 2012.

Vaughn testified on his behalf and told jurors that he recalled Swann beating him up during an argument after a night of drinking in Swann’s backyard. According to Vaughn, he jumped the fence to his house a few doors down and came back moments later to the front door to talk to his girlfriend Nakita Bourn, who is also Swann’s younger sister.

According to Vaughn’s defense attorney, Swann opened the door instead and continued attacking Vaughn outside the residence in the 500 block of 50th Place Northeast.

Prosecutors painted a different picture, saying Vaughn returned to the house enraged, pushed past Swann’s sister, brandished the knife in her face, and told her to “get the f*ck out” of his way. Then, as Swann’s mother stood between both men, Vaughn managed to reach around and stab Swann once in the chest piercing his heart and lung.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Truscott questioned why Vaughn waited until his trial to say that he was afraid for his life while he was being choked by Swann that night. Vaughn responded that he was trying to protect his friend from getting in trouble and that at the time he was asked by police he did not know Swann was dead.

Deliberations are scheduled to resume Thursday at 10 a.m. on the remaining charge.

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