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Mistrial declared in Stark trial

Stark (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Stark (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

A mistrial was declared this morning in the murder trial of Shellye Stark, a former Internet prostitute who shot her husband five times in the back in a late-night confrontation at the estranged couple’s Spokane home more than a year ago.

Jurors were released by the judge, apparently after defense lawyers told them it wasn’t a death penalty case. Case law prohibits jurors from considering punishment when reaching a verdict.

A new panel of prospective jurors will be called to court next week. Watch for details as they become available.

Stark, who admits to shooting Dale Stark, argues she was defending herself.