A judge declared a mistrial Thursday in the case of two reputed gang members charged in the Christmas Day 2012 killing of a civilian Sheriff’s Department employee in Pasadena.
The jury deadlocked on charges that Larry Darnell Bishop Jr., 23, and Jerron Donald Harris, 27, murdered Victor McClinton, a 49-year-old law enforcement technician who was walking a friend to his car when gunfire erupted at Newport Avenue and Wyoming Street.
Jurors deliberated for about four days before taking a final vote 9-3 in favor of guilt for Bishop and 7-5 in favor of a not guilty verdict for Harris, then declaring themselves hopelessly deadlocked.
“It was disappointing,” Harris’ defense attorney, Richard Lasting, told City News Service, “because I think the evidence just wasn’t there to find Jerron Harris, in particular, guilty. Primarily because he’s innocent. Seven people saw it right.”
Bishop and Harris were also charged with one count each of attempted murder involving another man, their intended target, who was wounded and ending up crashing his vehicle into a tree, and three related counts.
The vote by the jurors was the same on all counts.
McClinton was shot in the head in what Deputy District Attorney Amy Ashvanian called “a gang-related murder,” and two houses were struck by the gunfire.
McClinton’s widow testified at trial that she originally thought the shots were fireworks.
“Then I realized that’s not fireworks,” Shelly McClinton told the jury, noting that she discovered her husband laying on the ground.
“He was shaking. There was blood coming from his nose,” she said, adding that there was a “puddle of blood.”
Bishop’s attorney, Elena Saris, said: “An innocent bystander and, by all accounts, a very good man was killed … There’s no denying the senselessness and the randomness of this killing.”
However, Saris said there was “absolutely no evidence that Mr. Bishop was in the car at the time of the shooting.”
— City News Service