Jury Deadlocks 11-1 in Cumberland Teen's Murder Trial
Posted July 22, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — A Cumberland County jury could not reach a verdict in the Shanon Tyson trial. The jury ended up deadlocked 11-1 after deliberating for more than seven hours.
They were unable to reach a unanimous vote, and the judge declared a mistrial.
Jurors had to decide whether the Cumberland County teenager kidnapped and killed classmate Chris Eggleston two years ago.
Tyson left the courthouse showing no emotion with family and friends.
Both the defense and the prosecution said they will not comment on the case because the case is pending, and Tyson could be tried again.
The jury told the judge that from the very start it was 11-1 on all four counts for a conviction. They spent the day trying to convince the one hold-out who was actually an alternate that replaced another juror in the middle of the trial.
"From the beginning, he was against it and would not acknowledge or agree to anything that was put out as testimony against Ms. Tyson," said juror James Fleming.
"We decided before the trial started that no matter the outcome that it's something we have to live with," said Wayne Eggleston.
"She's not innocent. She just wasn't proven guilty today," said Angie Eggleston.
Many of the jurors were seen crying and hugging with the Eggleston family. They were upset that they could not bring justice to the Eggleston family.
The Egglestons said the assistant District Attorney will talk with them next week about what to do next. They would like to see Tyson tried again.
The jury came out of deliberations twice to ask the court some minor questions.
Jurors considered charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree kidnapping, accessory before the fact to first-degree kidnapping, soliciting another to commit first-degree kidnapping and first-degree murder.
The state contended Tyson arranged to have Eggleston taken to the woods behind Westover High School and killed.
Defense attorneys said Tyson never made that kind of arrangement with anyone.
Tyson arrived at court Friday surrounded by her attorney, family and friends. While the jury deliberated, Tyson did crossword puzzles with her family and friends.
The Eggleston family also had a lot of support in the courtroom. Angie Eggleston said she wanted to see Tyson go to jail for some length of time.