Mistrial declared in murder trial after jury couldn’t return a verdict
Family members and friends fill the courtroom on Monday and Tuesday February 17&18 while a murder trial got underway in Carlisle County. Jay Pender is charged with the murder of his brother-in-law, Scott D. McBride.
McBride was shot and killed at his home after altercations with his brother-in-law June 2013. The incident resulted in McBride's death from multiple gunshot wounds. Pender was not charged at the time but was later indicted by a Carlisle County Grand Jury.
Pender had told police that he and McBride had been feuding for years.
Dr. Jeffrey Springer, a state medical examiner in Louisville, stated the primary cause of McBride's death was two gunshot wounds, one that entered through the left arm and re-entered through McBride's head and a second that went in through the torso and traveled through the body.
On Monday Commonwealth Attorney Mike Stacy's called state police forensic scientist David Clem to the stand. Clem told the jury of gunshot residue kits he performed on Pender and Crystal Dowdy and (Laura Pender wife of Jay Pender,) who were also at the scene when the shooting occurred. Clem testified that residue can be a result of firing a gun, but that it can also be present if someone was near a firearm being fired or touched a gun that was fired.
The defense's case consisted of testimony of the three people who were outside when the shooting took place: Jay Pender, wife Laura Pender and their friend Chrystal Dowdy. Laura Pender and Crystal Dowdy testified that McBride was close to Pender when the first shot was fired. Laura Pender said she yelled at Jay, and when he turned to respond McBride continued to step forward and waving the ax handle. She told the jury that he shot once more.
Stacy brought out that all three told different stories on the stand than they did in their original interviews with Detective Nall, and allowed the jury to hear the differences by listening to audio from the interviews.
Stacy claims it was murder and that surveillance video at Pender's home shows Pender did not have his gun earlier in the day and that it showed after he went back inside his home he had his gun in the video, and that showed intent.
After hearing two day testimony and hours of deliberating the Carlisle Circuit Court jury of seven men and five women could not make a decision on the fate of Jay Pender. After the jury could not return a verdict, Judge Langford declared a mistrial.
Pender is still charged with murder but will remain out of jail. A pretrial conference is scheduled for March 6 to determine a new trial date.