03/05/2013

Mistrial declared in warrantless GPS case

U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle declared the mistrial when jurors could not reach a verdict for Antoine Jones after more than seven days of deliberations

By Frederic J. Frommer
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A judge declared a mistrial Monday in the case of a D.C. nightclub owner charged with drug conspiracy — two and a half years after his previous conviction was tossed out because police used a global positioning device to track him without a warrant.

U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle declared the mistrial when jurors could not reach a verdict for Antoine Jones after more than seven days of deliberations.

Jones' first trial, in 2007, ended in a mistrial. He was convicted in a second trial and sentenced to life, but a federal appeals court reversed. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the reversal last year in a major decision that has prompted police to seek search warrants more often before they use GPS tracking devices.

Huvelle told the jurors she was declaring a mistrial with "great, great regret."

The two sides will appear before the judge again on Tuesday afternoon.

"I fully expect the government will announce it will retry this case," prosecutor Darlene Soltys told Huvelle.

The government alleged that Jones was linked to a house in Fort Washington, Md., where authorities found nearly $1 million in cash and nearly 100 kilograms of cocaine.

Jones represented himself in the case, although he did have the assistance of court-appointed lawyers.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press

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