Hale's Widow Gives WRAL an Exclusive Look at the Mays Trial
Posted May 28, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Kawame Mays received life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of Michael Walker. However, Mays could face the death penalty again in the retrial of Officer Paul Hale.
Friday, Hale's widow discussed the experience of going through the first trail and awaiting another one in an exclusive WRAL interview. "I don't think I could describe it to anyone, what this has done to my family and the police officers involved," Hale said. The jury charged with deciding the sentence for Kawame Mays in the Walker trial was "hopelessly" deadlocked after about 10 hours of deliberating; they could have dealt him the death penalty if a unanimous decision was reached.
Hale described the emotions she felt when the jury return without a decision in the first degree murder trial of her husband. "It was shocking. It was disappointing. It was frustrating."
Late Thursday afternoon, jurors told Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens they were split 8-to-4. The jury foreman did not say which way the panel was leaning. Jurors said they wanted to return Friday to try and reach a unanimous decision. They began deliberations again at about 10 a.m. Friday and reduced the split to 10-to-2, but were unable to reach a decision.
"We all came to 12 individual decisions, we just couldn't come to a unanimous decision," said jury foreman Robert Hathaway
"It's the interpretation," said juror John Phillips. "You look at the facts and sometimes some people see different things from the facts."
Relatives of both Mays and his victims became very emotional as the deadlock decision was read.
"We just very much appreciate that they took the effort that they did to try to resolve this case. I think there probably are no winners here," said Mays' attorney Johnny Gaskins.
While Mays' family members were visibly relieved by the sentence, Walker's family was stunned.
"The only thing I can say is what more is there to say? I don't even know what to tell you," said Anne Heister, Walker's mother-in-law.
Mays was convicted one week ago of first-degree murder in Walker's death. The same jury deadlocked on whether Mays was guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Raleigh Police Detective Paul Hale. Prosecutor Colon Willoughby said that case will be retried.
Although Walker's trial ended with a sentence of life in prison, Hale said that she hope the retrial will bring another outcome. "A first-degree murder conviction, which is so obvious. I don't think jury or I or anyone else is imposing the death penalty on Kawame Mays, he chose that sentence when he chose to take two innocent lives July 11th. He choose that."
Hale said that she will sit in the courtroom until the end. "I'm sure my folks, my sister, Paul's mom and dad ... everybody will be here again and sit here as long as we have to. We'll sit through it 10 times if we have to until we get justice," Hale said. From staff and wire reports