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Mistrial declared in trial of New Jersey man accused of shooting cop

The jury in the trial of a New Jersey man accused of shooting a Pennsylvania police officer in a 2004 ambush has said it can't arrive at a verdict.

The judge declared a mistrial on the charges of attempted homicide, armed burglary, robbery, conspiracy and weapons charges.

Prosecutors said they would try the 31-year-old Jersey City man on all the charges again early next month unless the accusations against him are resolved in negotiations with the defendant and his criminal defense attorney before then.

The jury of six women and six men failed to return a verdict after deliberations of nearly 10 hours over two days.

There was no indication in the media account of whether the jury had leaned toward acquittal or a finding of guilt in its deliberations.

Prosecutors claim that the suspect hid behind some trees behind a check-cashing business, waiting in the darkness for the officer to respond to an alarm there.

As the officer approached, the suspect allegedly opened fire, hitting the officer in the leg.

But the officer didn't identify the suspect as the shooter.

The man who did ID the defendant had cut a plea deal to get years taken off of a prison sentence he's serving. Clearly, this is a witness with something to gain by testifying against the defendant.

His dubious credibility might well have played a role in the jury's inability to agree on a verdict in this case.

In addition, the defendant's criminal defense attorney pointed out a number of discrepancies in the witness's testimony, according to a media source.

That's part of an attorney's task at trial, of course: challenge inconsistent and contradictory testimony so that the jury and judge understand that the evidence isn't as rock-solid as typically painted by prosecutors.

Source: phillyBurbs.com: "Jury cannot reach a verdict in Rosa trial" by Danielle Camilli: Sept. 23, 2011

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