Spokane County proseuctors have decided to pursue a second trial against a Southern California man charged with first-degree murder by accomplice, setting up what could be the fourth major trial following the 2007 slaying of Dale Stark.
A jury announced Monday that it had deadlocked and could not reach a unanimous decision against Brian L. Moore, 46, who also faced a charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Jack Driscoll, chief deputy criminal prosecutor, confirmed that the jury deadlocked at 11-1 on both charges, which played into the decision to retry the case.
If the number was 11-1 to aquit “it might be a different” discussion, he said. “It’s obviously a serious case. It’s a homicide. It’s a murder case that needs resolution. So, we will just continue to pursue it.”
Moore was charged along with his former prostitute girlfriend, Shellye L. Stark, for the Dec. 9, 2007, slaying of her estranged husband, Dale Stark.
The jury deliberated for parts of four days before deadlocking.
Moore said he still intends to marry Shellye Stark, who was convicted in 2009 of killing her husband, Dale R. Stark, and sentenced to 51 years in prison before appellate judges overturned the verdict in 2010 because of flawed jury instructions. She remains in custody pending her new trial.
Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell said a new trial will be scheduled for Moore within 60 days.
“The jury took everything we had and did the best they could with it,” Haskell said Monday.
Moore testified that he fell in love with Shellye Stark after he met her in 2007 on a website for men to find escorts.
“I was impressed,” Moore testified last week. “She’s not a beauty queen. She’s like us. She’s human. When she smiled, the room would light up.”
But prosecutors alleged that Moore, who was working in Southern California as a paralegal, helped Stark draw up a restraining order designed to enrage Dale Stark, whom witnesses testified had a quick temper.
Shellye Stark was waiting with a gun on Dec. 9, 2007, when Dale Stark came home. Within seconds of handing over the paperwork, she shot him five times. She claimed self-defense, but a jury in 2009 saw otherwise.
Moore testified that he did receive some of the money from Dale Stark’s $400,000 life insurance policy, but only as reimbursement for the costs of defending Shellye Stark.