Capital Mistrial

Attorney Katherine Scardino and Attorney Jimmy Phillips Jr. were appointed to a high profile capital murder case in the 184th Criminal District Court in Harris County. Scardino’s client and his cousin were charged with Capital Murder in the September 4th shooting deaths of two employees at the Hollywood Video Store. Scardino’s client worked at the store before being fired in mid August.

A Lack of Evidence

There was no forensic evidence at the scene implicating either defendant. Both defendants told friends that the pair were murdered because they recognized Scardino’s client as a former employee and were going to tell the police. Scardino’s defendant initially confessed to the shooting to police while his pregnant girlfriend was also being interviewed.

The second defendant agreed to take a 40-year sentence to testify against Scardino’s client, but changed his mind just before trial.

Our Investigation Revealed…

Our investigation identified a Harris County jail inmate who was willing to testify that the second defendant told him that he was the shooter in the incident. The jurors were deadlocked 11 to 1 for conviction. The single juror voting to acquit Scardino’s client was not convinced that Cooper’s confession to police had been voluntary.

The jury sent a note to the judge, “We can’t change our votes with-out doing violence to our conscience.”

The State of course will retry the case.

More on the Case

A Case of Capital Mistrial

Return to the May 2002 Investigator’s Newsletter