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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: hung juries

Man shot by police won’t be retried

Prosecutors have dismissed assault charges against a man shot by Spokane Valley police in 2009. A jury was split 6-6 after Michael E. Young's trial last March in Spokane County Superior Court.

Prosecutors decided not to pursue another trial, and Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson dismissed two counts of second-degree assault against Young this week.

Young's lawyer, James Kirkham, called the move “the correct result.”  He said Young is still recovering from his injuries.

“All along he's maintained that he didn't do anything wrong,” Krikham said.

Deputies Walter Loucks, Darell Stidham and Scott Bonney shot Young outside his home at 11709 E. Fairview Ave., on Dec. 27, 2009.

Young had reportedly threatened to kill himself and was armed with a .40-caliber Glock. The charges alleged Young pointed a gun at the officers before he was shot.

A neighbor who witnessed the shooting said Young never pointed his gun at deputies but refused orders to drop it.

Loucks and Sgt. Dale Golman received life-saving awards for their work on Young after he was shot, but a review of the shooting by sheriff's officials criticized the move.

“Was it possible their rapid response saved the suspect's life? Possibly,” according to a report by Pat Knight, the sheriff's lead firearms instructor. “But rushing up to someone who was armed and just fell to the ground is dangerous…The deputies could have stayed in position and assessed the situation for a short period of time before making the approach to ensure their safety.”

Golman is credited with helping control Young's bleeding; Loucks established an airway to keep Young breathing, according to a sheriff's office report.

Sheriff's officials recommended reiteration training on how to respond to injured suspects and to “continue to reinforce the concept of 'shoot until the threats ceases to exist.'”

Jury deadlocks in police shooting trial

A hung jury led to a mistrial today in the case of a man charged with assault after he was shot by Spokane County sheriff's deputies.

A new trial will be held for Michael E. Young, 56, who is charged with two counts of second-degree assault after deputies said he pointed a gun at them as they responded to reports that he was suicidal.

Deputies Walter Loucks, Darell Stidham and Scott Bonney shot Young outside his home at 11709 E. Fairview Ave., on Dec. 27, 2009.

A neighbor who witnessed the shooting said Young never pointed his gun at deputies but refused orders to drop it.

The jury of five women and seven men began deliberating about 10:30 a.m. today and announced they were deadlocked about 3 p.m. The trial began Monday.

Young's lawyer, James Kirkham, said the jury was divided 6-6.

Past coverage:

March 2: Man shot by deputies on trial for assault

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