Mistrial in Stepfather Slaying Case

Man was accused of committing crime with sister

One day after announcing they were deadlocked and were ordered to continue deliberations, the jury in the case of a man accused of killing his stepfather was unable to reach a verdict.

Nathaniel Gann, 20, was charged with the murder of Timothy MacNeil, a criminal defense attorney in July 2007.  Gann was also charged with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait and an allegation that he personally discharged a firearm.

On Wednesday, jurors told Judge Frederic Link that they were deadlocked at 6-4-2 after only one day of deliberations.  Jurors did not indicate which way they were leaning.  The judge instructed the jury that it was too early to be deadlocked and told them to continue deliberating.

On Thursday, around 11 a.m., the panel notified the court they remained deadlocked.  The jury foreman told the judge the panel was stuck at seven in favor of a guilty verdict and five casting not guilty votes.  The judge polled jurors and declared a mistrial, according to an official.

Prosecutors immediately requested a retrial, which was tentatively set for January.

Prosecutors alleged Gann killed MacNeil in his Rolando home with the help of his sister, Brae Hansen, 19.  She was 18 at the time. As for a motive, prosecutors said Hansen was mad at MacNeil and that she and her brother allegedly tried to make the slaying look like a phony home invasion robbery. 

Gann's attorney said his client had no motive and that Gann was going to college in Arizona, and did not feel any animosity towards his stepfather.

Hansen confessed to planning the murder with Gann, according to police. Defense attorneys, however, maintain that her rights were violated.  She is scheduled to go to trial in January. 

Gann faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

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