Second trial for Lazcano ends with hung jury

Second trial for Lazcano ends with hung jury »Play Video
Lazcano is released from the Whitman County Jail.
COLFAX, WA - The re-trial of Daniel Lazcano ended Monday afternoon with another hung jury, and the defendant will be released from jail on his own recognizance.

After the Whitman County jury spent Friday afternoon and all of Monday morning in deliberation, the re-trial of Daniel Lazcano was declared a mistrial, for the second time.

"Disappointed, certainly," said Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy. "But I always respect the jury's decision. In this case, I respect jury's lack of ability to reach a decision."

All twelve jurors told the judge that they couldn't come to a consensus about whether or not Lazcano is guilty of murdering 23-year-old Marcus Schur in December of 2011.

"Anytime a client is not convicted, that is a victory," said Defense Attorney Eric Christianson.

Christianson said there isn't enough evidence to prove that Lazcano was at the scene of the crime.

"Sometimes you may have a gut feeling that you're prosecuting the right person, but if the evidence isn't there, the evidence isn't there," said Christianson. "And we've had two juries tell them that."

Tracy said that it's better to let a guilty man go free than convict an innocent one, but he has yet to decide what direction he'll take next.

"I'm going to carefully consider the case again, and decide how to proceed," said Tracy.

According to Tracy the jury was split eleven-to-one, with eleven people supporting Lazcano's conviction. The prosecution can try and negotiate a plea deal with the defense, start another trial, or drop it altogether.

"I'm hoping the state will walk away," said Christianson. "Mr. Lazcano's a great kid, the evidence isn't there. If we have to re-try it again, I think we need a jury from another county who have not been tainted by all the prior press."

Judge David Frazier decided to release Lazcano from the Whitman County Jail for the first time in over a year.

"Mr, Lazcano, from your standpoint, it would be--- I'm going to be blunt here, brain dead stupid to try to leave the area," said Frazier.

He's also forbidden to make contact with any of the witnesses from the trial, except his fiancee and sister-in-law.

There is a status hearing set for June 28th, and at that point, counsel will discuss how they will move forward with the case.