A Gulfport attorney argued sloppy police work played a role in a jury’s second mistrial in the shooting death of a Gautier man.
After four years and two trials, a jury again couldn’t reach a decision in the murder trial of Louis Williams, 25.
In 2012, Williams was accused of shooting Jason Brady, 22, of Gautier twice, with one shot to the head.
A second Biloxi jury deliberated Friday for seven hours before telling the judge jurors were deadlocked. Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson declared a mistrial. The first mistrial was in 2015.
Biloxi police went to a home in the 2000 block of Brasher Road the night of the killing, responding to shots fired there, officials said. They found Brady lying in the front door.
An autopsy showed he died of a gunshot wound to the head.
In the four-day trial, defense attorney Mike Crosby argued prosecution evidence was unreliable.
Crosby said police interviewed Williams twice without an attorney present. He said there was possible collusion on the part of mugshot witnesses, who he said were allowed to consult with one another before identifying the suspect. He also said it was too dark at the time of the shooting for a witness to make a positive identification.
When asked if he had any other suspect in mind, Crosby said, “My client admitted to purchasing marijuana from the home. I believe it could have been another suspect that went to the house to purchase marijuana that night.”
“They did it again,” Brady’s mother, Laura Meci, said of the jury’s deadlock. “I can’t believe they did it again.”
Cinthia Yankovich, the mother of a witness for the prosecution, said Jason Brady stepped in between her son and the shooter, taking a bullet that was meant for him.
“He called (Brady) his ‘guardian angel.’ He said he sacrificed his life for him by stepping between him and gunman,” she said.
She said her son moved to Georgia after the shooting. His only return has been for both trials. Still fearful for his safety, she didn’t want his name made public.
“He’s just as traumatized. He has nightmares and panic attacks,” she said.
Meci left the Coast also, shortly after her son’s death. She moved back to Las Vegas.
“I just can’t do it. I couldn’t stay here. Everything here reminds me of Jason,” she said.
Williams, dressed in a blue dress shirt tucked into tan dress pants, hugged family members on his way out of the courtroom without comment.
Staff writer Margaret Baker contributed to this report.