Local News

Mistrial Declared In Myron Britt Trial

Posted June 16, 2006 6:45 a.m. EDT

— Cary contractor Myron Britt was charged with killing his wife. All the jurors had to agree on a verdict for a conviction, but one holdout now sends the case back to square one.

Britt was charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife, Nancy, who was a popular Wake County teacher, in August 2003 at her sister's home in Lumberton.

Prosecutors argued that Myron Britt was in financial trouble and wanted to collect on his wife's insurance policy. The defense said the couple was happy and solvent.

Prosecutor Johnson Britt, who is not related to the defendant, said both sides knew the jury was having problems on Thursday.

"A note came from the jury, particularly from the foreman, saying that she would not continue to deliberate under the circumstances that existed in the jury room," he said.

The court didn’t get details.

“I mean, we just had one that just wouldn’t decide,” said juror Theresa Suggs.

Judge James Ammons told the jury to keep deliberating. He told them, "The court wants to emphasize the fact that it is your duty to do whatever you can to reach a verdict.” But, after three more hours behind closed doors, they called it quits.

"A lot of stuff was just messed up," said Suggs.

Johnson Britt said he was disappointed with a hung jury, but said he hopes to retry the case.

"I’d like an opportunity to talk to some of the jurors individually and see what they thought our strong points were, what our weak points were," he said.

"They have my number, so I’ll be back," said witness Stephanie Graham.

Nancy Britt’s sister, Judy Ivey, said, “I’m not looking forward to another trial, but the Lord will help us. We’ll get through.”

Myron Britt could have faced the death penalty if he was convicted.

At one point Thursday, Myron Britt's daughter apologized for her emotional outbursts during a statement by the prosecutor that her father failed to pick up her mother's remains.

The judge had threatened to bar Lauren Britt from the trial. But after she apologized, he said she could stay.