Mistrial declared on homicide charges in ’15 shooting

A hung jury in Dwayne Jaleel Hall’s murder trial led a judge in Lycoming County Court to declare a mistrial Friday on the criminal homicide and assault charges brought against him for allegedly killing Irahmeen Mills in 2015.

After deliberating since Thursday afternoon, the jury wasn’t able to reach a verdict on the criminal homicide and aggravated assault charges.

But they found Hall guilty of charges for possessing the firearm.

“It is my understanding that as to counts one, two and three, you are hopelessly deadlocked and no amount of further deliberation would change that,” Judge Marc F. Lovecchio asked the jury Friday afternoon. “That is correct,” a juror answered.

Judge Lovecchio then declared a mistrial – meaning the charges will be disputed in another trial in the future.

The conviction and mistrial followed a full morning of jurors asking to rehear chunks of testimony from the week and an afternoon of deliberation.

Before the mistrial was declared, the jury was sent back to deliberate after they told Lovecchio they couldn’t reach a verdict.

But after coming back, they still were unable to reach a unanimous decision on the serious charges.

Hall was charged in October of 2015 after the county’s Special Response Team took him into custody a month after Mills was killed outside of the bar at 762 W. Fourth St. just before 1 a.m. on Sept. 6, 2015.

Some testimony described an escalating fight between Mills and Hall before the shooting across the street from the bar.

The bartender that morning identified Hall as the shooter and a taxi driver testified that he saw a man in a black and orange hat shift a handgun around to the back of his body before hearing the shot further down the street minutes later.

Hall admitted to wearing the hat, but some testimony said Hall handed the hat over to a friend in a white shirt before walking across the street.

Throughout the trial, Hall’s attorneys pointed out the alterations as to what eyewitnesses told police over a year ago and what they testified to this week.

Hall himself took the stand Wednesday and admitted fighting with Mills, but said he didn’t fire the .380 ACP round that killed him.

He also said he didn’t have a gun that night.

Hall was placed on the August pre-trial list to gear up for another trial and Lovecchio set a date for sentencing on the weapons charges for Aug. 9.

But because of the seriousness of the outstanding charges, the court will consider how best to sentence Hall.