Durham Judge Declares Mistrial In Cannady Murder Trial
Posted September 8, 2005
DURHAM, N.C. — A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the murder trial of a Durham man accused of killing his 89-year-old neighbor after the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the first-degree murder charge.
Prosecutors say Gregory Lee Jr. led three other suspects to Lois Cannady's house to steal her car in June 2002. Cannady, who family members said carried Lee's prom picture in her wallet, was shot to death while on the phone with 911.
While it found Lee guilty of larceny and possession of a stolen vehicle, the jury was deadlocked 9-3 for more than a day on a verdict on charges of first-degree murder, assault and weapon possession.
"She was a wonderful woman and she didn't deserve this," said the victim's son, David Cannady. "Three years, three weeks, three days for this, just for this right here. It is bull."
Last week, Lee testified that gang members forced him to participate in the crimes, but during the trial, a witness for the prosecution, Ricky Morris, testified that Lee cut the power to Cannady's house and kicked in the back door.
Last year, Michael Sullivan, one of the four who allegedly broke into Cannady's house, was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Lee faced the same sentence if he was convicted.
Two others, Morris and Little Jerome Freeman, pleaded guilty to reduced charges in return for their testimony against Lee and Sullivan.
Prosecutors said they would seek a new trial against Lee on the murder and weapons charges.