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ONLY ON 3: DA not sure if he'll retry Chadbourn manager

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A trial 18 months in the making came to a head Friday. Now both the prosecution and defense are left wondering what's next.

Chadbourn Town Manager Stevie Cox finally had his day in court last week, but Cox said his life is still on hold after a mistrial left a cloud hanging over his head.

With the jury deadlocked 7-5 for not guilty, the judge in Cox's impersonating an officer case was forced to declare a mistrial Friday. Defense attorney Mike Willis says he's not surprised.

"Nobody, I think, is surprised by the fact that you have such an even split in a case of this notoriety particularly when it involves a public official," Willis said.

The mistrial put the ball back into the court of District Attorney Jon David, who is faced with the decision of whether to retry the case.

"What I'm going to do is sit down with the defense attorney and see if there is any common ground as far as a resolution is concerned," David told WWAY. "It's obviously a misdemeanor, so trying it twice, to some extent, calls into question how we're using our resources."

If the case is tried again, attorneys would select a new jury, which could prove difficult.

"I think it would be very difficult to get a fair jury in this county," Willis said. "Not to say that we couldn't get a fair jury, but you certainly would have difficulty getting a jury now who had not been informed about this case by the press."

Jury foreman Donald Wise said he did not feel a verdict could be reached no matter where there the trial is held.

"Not with the jury that was there. Not in 20 years," he said. "Not with the wording of the law, so to speak. Things have a tendency to be written certain ways and interpretations are always different for different minds."

Another juror told us Friday she was trying to give Cox a break by voting not guilty. David said he had not yet seen the interview, but would be interested to hear what that juror had to say.

As for Cox, a review by the Town of Chadbourn found him competent to continue as manager unless he is found guilty in court.

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DA Not Sure He Will Re-Try Chadbourn Town Manager

It is District Attorney Jon David's responsibility to re-try this case and see that justice is done. I have listened to the video and I can hear Town Manager Stevie Cox affirming that he is the police chief of Chadbourn. For a juror to say she voted not guility to give Cox a chance is being irresponsible as a juror. She took the oath to render a verdict of the evidence. So, this juror has broken the law too. I also agree that resources should not be a factor in this case. Because Cox is a public official should not matter. Stevie Cox in my opinion presented the badge to Trooper Walker with the intent to try and influence the trooper to not charge him. Mayor Kenneth Waddell should have opened his mouth at the time of this incident and helped clear up the situation. Instead Waddell told me himself that he thought the best thing he could do at the time was to keep his mouth shut. Waddell has definitely lost my vote in his election. If Waddell can't tell the truth in a matter like this, he certainly will not be able to make decisions for the state of North Carolina. Cox is guilty and should be retried. Trooper Walker did his job and he has been prosecuted instead of Cox.

Waddell

I agree 100%!! I will not be voting for Waddell!! He new what Cox was doing and I was waiting to see if he was going to tell the truth on the stand before I decided my vote and he failed I hope Cox friendship was worth it with all the votes you just lost!! And yes the case should be retried we all heard some jury members wanted to help him out. Mr. David do the right thing here you are being watched also!

"Another juror told us

"Another juror told us Friday she was trying to give Cox a break by voting not guilty."

It is not a juror's job to give a defendant a break. It is the juror's job to determine if a person is guilty or not guilty based on the evidence presented and the law.

Retry him

I think you should move the trial outside your county and retry him. If it was a normal person that is what you would do...

Your absolutely right!

If this were a regular "Joe", there would not be any qualms about a retrial.

And certainly there would not be a problem with "resources".

This is an example of people with financial resources getting a break, while others that are poor get walked on.

This case will demonstrate whether someone "connected" will dodge a charge, or will he truly be held accountable for his alleged misdeed.

Everyone is tired of "public officials" getting preferential treatment.