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Hung jury leads to mistrial in murder case

The jury deadlocked in an Albemarle County trial involving a killing 21 years ago.

In 1988, Roger Lee Shifflett was robbed and shot to death at the convenience store he owned and operated, reports The Daily Progress. Less than a month after the shooting, defendant Alvin Lee Morris divorced his own wife, married Shifflett’s widow and helped rear three of the victim’s children.

Morris was not arrested until 2008, after Albemarle County police reopened the case and conducted DNA tests on items found at the crime scene. DNA on a cigarette butt matched the defendant.

Defense argued that this circumstantial evidence did not directly tie the defendant to the crime scene. Half the jury agreed with the defense, reportedly causing a 6-6 deadlock.

Prosecutors will reconsider re-filing charges.

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