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Judge declares mistrial in student’s murder case

NORFOLK (AP) A Southampton County judge has declared a mistrial in the murder case against a man accused of killing his adopted daughter and disposing of her body while she was home from college on spring break.

The mistrial was called after the prosecution and defense disagreed over what evidence the jury would be allowed to hear, defense lawyer James Ellenson said. Now, the trial will have to restart later this year with a new jury, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Wesley Hadsell, 40, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree felony murder and concealing a dead body in February 2019, nearly four years after A.J. Hadsell, 18, disappeared while home in Norfolk.

Her body was found near the North Carolina border, five weeks after she disappeared, news outlets reported at the time. Wesley Hadsell was quickly identified as a person of interest when investigators found the GPS unit inside his van revealed it had been behind an abandoned residence, leading them to the Longwood University student’s partially buried body.

The prosecution and defense initially agreed the jury could hear recorded media interviews in which Wesley Hadsell spoke about his past criminal record, Ellenson told The Virginian-Pilot. But Ellenson told the court this week that Wesley Hadsell no longer wanted those interviews admitted.

A hearing was set for Feb. 28 to determine a new trial date, the newspaper said.

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