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November 13, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Mistrial declared in trial of Marysville officer over daughter’s death

Marysville police officer Derek Carlile hugs his wife, Forrest Carlile, after his trial in Snohomish County Court ended in a hung jury with the prosecution asking for another trial. (Photo by Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

A Snohomish County judge today declared a mistrial in the manslaughter trial of a Marysville police officer whose handgun was used by his 3-year-old son to kill the officer’s daughter.

The presiding juror told Superior Court Judge that the jury could not reach a verdict in a reasonable time. Moments later he declared a mistrial.

Snohomish County prosecutors immediately scheduled a retrial for Jan. 29, drawing sobs from the wife of Officer Derek Carlile. Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Joan Cavagnaro said the court date for retrial was set as a matter of procedure, but it does not mean Carlile will be retried. She said prosecutors will weigh what the jury says, and how they were split, before deciding whether to take the case to court again.

David Allen, Carlile’s attorney, said jurors were split 7-4 in favor of acquittal, with one juror undecided

The Superior Court jury had been deadlocked since Friday, when it first began deliberating the fate of Carlile, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death in March of his daughter, 7-year-old Jenna Carlile.

Carlile, 31, had left a .38-caliber revolver in a cup holder between the front seats of the family’s parked van as he and his wife stepped away, leaving his four children alone inside. Carlile’s son grabbed the gun and fatally shot his sister in Stanwood

Jurors began their deliberations shortly after noon Friday, one day after the start of the trial.

Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Paul told jurors that Carlile was fully aware of the danger of leaving the loaded, unsecured firearm in the van with four unsupervised children.

On Friday morning, when it came time for the defense to present its case, Allen opted to not call any witnesses. Instead, in his closing arguments, Allen reminded jurors that defendants do not have to prove their innocence. Rather, it’s up to the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Allen insisted the state had not done so in Carlile’s case.

Allen told jurors Carlile has already been punished with the death of his daughter. “Nothing you could do would be worse than what Derek has already gone through.”

 

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: accidental shooting, Marysville Police Department, Snohomish County Superior Court

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