A Mississippi judge declared a mistrial Thursday in the case of two white men charged in the attack on a Black FedEx employee making a delivery. Brandon Case and his father, Gregory Case, were charged with attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy and shooting into the vehicle driven by D’Monterrio Gibson in January 2022. Gibson, 25, was not injured. The chase and gunfire led to complaints on social media of racism in Brookhaven, an hour’s drive south of the state capital, Jackson. Judge David Strong made the mistrial decision because of errors by a Brookhaven police detective, reports the Associated Press. Detective Vincent Fernando acknowledged under oath while the jury was out of the courtroom that he had not previously given prosecutors or defense attorneys a videotaped statement police had taken from Gibson.
The judge said the officer improperly testified about guns that were found in the home of one of the men on trial and about gun shell casings found outside the home. Defense attorneys requested the mistrial, and Strong said he had no choice but to grant it. Sharon McClendon, Gibson’s mother, burst out with a loud expletive in the courtroom after the judge’s announcement. District Attorney Dee Bates said he disagrees with the judge’s decision. Bates said a new trial will be scheduled, but he does not know if it will occur before he leaves office at the end of the year. He did not seek reelection.