The jury failed to agree on a verdict Friday afternoon at the Greenwood County Courthouse, forcing a mistrial to be declared by Judge Frank Addy.
The trial for Maunwell Ervin in which he was charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute drugs, two counts of possession with intent to distribute drugs within a half mile of a school, one count of possession of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime began Thursday morning. Testimony was given throughout the day and closing arguments were made Friday morning. The case went to the jury late Friday morning.
The jury came back “hopelessly deadlocked” just before 3 p.m. Friday, forcing a mistrial to be declared.
8th Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo said he was disappointed with the outcome of the trial.
“The Greenwood County Drug Enforcement Unit did an outstanding job on this investigation and we put up a strong case with all of the evidence presented pointing to the defendant's guilt,” Stumbo said in a statement following Friday’s hung jury. “We will not be deterred in our fight against drug dealers in the Greenwood community and will continue to do everything within our power to keep our families safe.”
Agents with the Greenwood Drug Enforcement Unit testified in pretrial hearings that Ervin had previously spent 135 months in federal prison for distribution of crack cocaine, but rules of evidence prevented that testimony from being presented to the jury.
Ervin’s trial was scheduled to begin on Tuesday afternoon, but was continued until Thursday so that his attorney could interview a witness. Stumbo said that Ervin would stand trial again this year, possibly as early as May.