Mistrial declared in Deonte Snowden murder trial


The judge in the Deonte D. Snowden murder trial declared a mistrial Thursday morning after the foreman said the jury was struggling with the definition of “reasonable doubt.”  

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Gregory Singer told the foreman the court had provided an exhaustive definition.  

RELATED: Suspect indicted in June 2016 homicide in Dayton

“There’s not much more that we can give you on that,” Singer said. “The court finds at this time that the jury is not able to reach a verdict. I want to declare a mistrial.”  

Snowden, 36, faces two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and one count of having weapons under disability related to the June 6, 2016 shooting death of William Sarver, 57.  

“There’s some jurors, apparently, that could find beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Snowden committed the crime,” defense attorney Anthony VanNoy said. “I’m very happy that they heard our side. They went back and listened to witnesses’ testimony and they re-evaluated the evidence.”  

The trial began Monday morning and wrapped up late Tuesday afternoon.

After about an hour of deliberations on Tuesday, the jury spend all day Wednesday deliberating, despite Singer’s “firecracker charge” late Wednesday morning asking the foreman if he thought a verdict was possible. 

RELATED: Feds nab murder suspect in Arizona 

The foreman said yes then, but said the opposite on Thursday.  

“Mr. Snowden has denied culpability throughout and has maintained his innocence despite the actions suggesting guilt by running,” VanNoy said. “He was very pleased. He wished that they had all acquitted him, but he was pleased that he was not found guilty.” 

The U.S. Marshals tracked Snowden down in Arizona in October 2016 for a killing which prosecutors allege he committed in front of a grandmother and three of her grandchildren.

VanNoy said 10 people ran from the scene and that didn’t indicate guilt. Immediately after the judge declared a mistrial, Montgomery County assistant prosecutor John Amos asked the judge for a scheduling date to put the case back on the docket for a re-trial.  

“That’s within their prerogative,” VanNoy said. “They have the option to do that. But if somebody believes he didn’t do it, maybe others will believe he didn’t do it.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Anger over effort to free convicted killer: ‘He beat my sons to death’
Anger over effort to free convicted killer: ‘He beat my sons to death’

Even after 32 years, the trauma of finding her mother, sister, niece and two young sons slaughtered and three more children left for dead never leaves Tia Talbott. “I just keep wishing it wasn’t real — that it was a dream or bad nightmare and I would wake up and this is all not real,” she said. Talbott is having to relive it...
How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton
How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton

Growing up in Dayton left an indelible imprint on Bill and Erma Bombeck – and they, in turn, now leave an enduring legacy in their hometown. Bill Bombeck died Jan. 12 in Phoenix, Ariz., and he soon will be buried alongside his wife in Dayton’s historic Woodland Cemetery. But the couple will live on in the hearts of many friends in the Dayton...
Drug crisis in Ohio: What solutions are making a difference?
Drug crisis in Ohio: What solutions are making a difference?

During a year of record deaths from drug overdoses in Springfield and across Ohio, glimmers of hope also exist as organizations and local governments have begun to find solutions that might make a difference. More than 30 news organizations statewide have partnered to share those solutions and help communities think about which ones might be adaptable...
Drug crisis in Ohio: What solutions are making a difference?
Drug crisis in Ohio: What solutions are making a difference?

During a year of record deaths from drug overdoses in the Miami Valley and across Ohio, glimmers of hope also exist as organizations and local governments have begun to find solutions that might make a difference. More than 30 news organizations statewide have partnered to share those solutions and help communities think about which ones might be adaptable...
John Legend blames Trump for government shutdown, calls him racist
John Legend blames Trump for government shutdown, calls him racist

Grammy and Oscar-winning singer John Legend is claiming that President Donald Trump and his team’s alleged racism are behind the government shutdown. Legend, who has vocally criticized Trump Sr. and Jr. both in the past, tweeted the following just after midnight Saturday: “The reason the government shutdown is that Trump...
More Stories