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Domestic Violence Slaying Ends in Mistrial

Posted March 14, 2007

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— A mistrial was declared Wednesday in the case of a man accused of chasing his wife through a north Raleigh neighborhood and killing her two years ago.

Michael Massenburg is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of his 34-year-old estranged wife, Toni Massenburg, in May 2005. Investigators said he chased his wife's minivan on several residential streets before running her off the road, and he then beat her and strangled her with her seatbelt.

Jurors deadlocked 6-6 between convicting him of first- or second-degree murder and couldn't reach a unanimous verdict after several hours of deliberations, leading Superior Court Judge Howard Manning to declare a mistrial.

Massenburg is being held without bond at Central Prison, pending a retrial.

Police said Massenburg confessed to killing his wife as officers arrived at the scene of what they thought was a fatal traffic accident.

Defense attorney Kevin Byrd implied during jury selection Monday that Toni Massenburg died after her seatbelt malfunctioned and not because of her husband.

Two months prior to her death, Toni Massenburg took out a restraining order against her husband. But because they shared custody of their three children, they continued to have contact.

The Massenburg children are being cared for by Toni Massenburg's sister and Michael Massenburg's parents.

173 Comments

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  • cheekygreek Apr 12, 2007

    acc2, you are actually a juror? You shouldn't be commenting in this forum in the fashion that you are. I know this trial is over, but it was a mistrial. And, obviously, there will be another one. sad, sad and terrible decision making on your part. You need to be reported.(said by jeneric43)
    >>>Don't worry acct.she ALWAYS is complaining to WRAL,and having people flagged.The world is about HER,YOU KNOW!!!

  • latanya512 Mar 15, 2007

    acct2 Didn't I tell you to go home, relax, put your feet up. I pray for the families but everyone is okay until it is their family. We would get defensive too. The man is not coming home, the children have to depend on the love of their family and community to raise them. They are the victims. Their road is going to be long. When we forget, other children won't. We all know children can be cruel.

  • ghwhitaker1_old Mar 15, 2007

    The decision to charge 1st or 2nd degree murder was made by one person and one person only... the assistant district attorney handling the case. It is a widely known fact that prosecutors will always charge the more serious offense because all of the elements of the lesser offense are included in the more serious offense, and he/she knows the judge will instruct the jury to consider both offenses, with the idea being that, who knows, you might just wind up with a jury who will totally disregard the law and base their decision on how they would like the law to be. The prosecutor's gamble that he/she might be able to get a 1st degree conviction on 2nd degree evidence resulted in a 6 to 6 deadlocked jury. You can say what you want, but the one person who needs to re-evaluate their position is the prosecutor.

  • acct2 Mar 15, 2007

    shellygirl,

    Thank you, god be with you and yours.

  • SHELLYGIRL Mar 15, 2007

    I will not disclose what my relationship is to either Toni or Mike. I will say this much.....none of us will ever, ever know who is posting these comments so ACCT2 being on the defense is not necessary this is just a public comment screen and keep in mind the public is reading this and what on earth are they thinking now? Don't you think you all should give it a rest because from the looks of it you both have been going at it for most of the day. Now what sense does that make,because you two will probably never know who the other one is ever in life. GOod bye and you all stay prayerful..............

  • acct2 Mar 15, 2007

    shellygirl,

    Thank you again, I am done also, but we were told by the judge that we could talk to anyone we wanted to about this case or we didn't have to talk about it at all. What is the difference than talking to the press? One of the jurors walked right out and talked with the press. Because after you are released, it is allowed. What is the difference? Just asking?

  • acct2 Mar 15, 2007

    jeneric,

    Are you sure it is really the family members that have been on here. I can't see them. So I don't know that for sure. I only know if it were my family, being on this website would not be in my schedule. I woulnd not have time to think about reading all these comments. I would have other problems on my mind. So we really don't know this is really family members on this. Well, we can't be sure of it. I am not being defensive, it just irritates me that people are so closed minded and can be so opinionated about things and judge people they don't even know about situations they are not sure of.

  • SHELLYGIRL Mar 15, 2007

    I worked for Wake Co for 6 years. If there are any comments pertaining to this trial being posted by anyone who was on the Jury charges can be brought against you. Please lets all just get on with our day. Both families are suffering enough and are probably reading and commenting on what is being said. Please, please if any of you are truly mature adults then you can relate to what I am asking/saying. Please stop the back and forth before they block comments from being added altogether. These comments whether you know it or not can be traced back to the sender. Toni would not want us to be bickering back and forth on what we all know will be dealt with by a power much higher the the Court, DA, or Judge could ever have. Have a nice day.

  • acct2 Mar 15, 2007

    jeneric,

    You are right, not about opinions. And that is all these are, which are not worth a lot. But I have the right to defend what we did. I didn't ask to do this, I didn't want to do this, BUT we were not given a choice. You know, falls under the rules again with the law and jusdice system.

  • jeneric43 Mar 15, 2007

    acct2, again, you are defending yourself as a juror. Disresepctful to family. I am done. You just don't get it.

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