Jurors in the attempted murder case against Shacoor R. Trapp could not render a verdict Thursday in Lycoming County Court and remained "hopelessly deadlocked" after deliberating for more than 5 1/2 hours.
The hung jury means Trapp likely will face another trial on accusations he stabbed, choked and shot his neighbor - Tiffany Nixon - in the early morning hours of May 29, 2011 at a Lycoming Housing town home complex in the 600 block of Maple Street.
Thursday was the third day of the trial, which included defense witnesses and closing arguments.
The jury foreman sent Judge Marc F. Lovecchio a note at 7:40 p.m. declaring that the group of 10 women and two men could not reach a verdict.
Lovecchio offered the jury more time Thursday evening and an additional day today for deliberations, but there was no chance for a unanimous decision, as required by law.
"Although a verdict was not reached, the process worked," Lovecchio said.
He commended the jury for its diligence and patience throughout the trial.
The jury foreman - a man who appeared to be in his mid-20s - declined comment on the jury's discussions as he left the courthouse shortly after 8 p.m.
Trapp remains in the Lycoming County Prison with bail set at $350,000. In addition to attempted murder charges, he faces charges of aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, criminal trespass, possession of an instrument of crime and simple assault.
Prosecutors said during the trial that Trapp, 24, violently attacked Nixon, who lived at 606 Maple St., by entering her home, picking up a kitchen knife and stabbing her several times in the upper chest. He then dragged the victim onto the floor and began choking her from behind, according to investigators. Trapp then fired three shots from a .22 caliber pistol at Nixon, which struck her twice in the head and once in the knee, they said.
Defense attorney Nicole M. Ippolito argued in her closing remarks that Nixon was given unreliable information from street rumors as to who the assailant may have been. Ippolito said it was another neighbor - Shana Saunders - who first came up with Trapp's name and passed it along to Nixon's sister, who showed the victim a Facebook photo of Trapp while she was recovering in the hospital.
Trapp's defense also argued that blood-stained socks found in his home that matched Nixon's blood were not his. Ippolito said there was no DNA evidence Trapp wore the socks found. Sneakers and boots found in Trapp's home also did not match his size and did not have blood on them, she added.
Ippolito also asked why Trapp would have left bloody socks in his living room, while no other evidence of the attack was found in his home. Trapp's residence appeared to have been broken into before police served a search warrant on his town home at 610 Maple St., investigators said.
The attorney theorized that someone else could have entered the home and planted the socks.
Additionally, body hairs found on the socks were not tested by a state police forensics laboratory, which could have excluded Trapp as the suspect, Ippolito said. No gun was recovered and no clothing found that may have matched a description by Nixon after she was attacked, she added.
Melissa Kalaus, assistant district attorney, said conspiracy theories were far-fetched.
"It happened at the hands of him," Kalaus said, pointing to Trapp in the courtroom. "That's what we call smoke and mirrors by the defense."
She argued that Trapp had two days to dispose of evidence that may have linked him to the attack, but the socks were a key piece left behind.
"He got sloppy; he got careless. There's evidence left behind and here it is," Kalaus said, holding the socks before jurors.
Nixon, who sat through much of the proceedings, wiped away tears as Trapp's mistrial was ordered and attorneys made arrangements for a pre-trial sometime in July.