A recent DUI case in San Diego was declared a mistrial after a single juror held off from deciding whether the defendant was behind the wheel when a car struck another vehicle and killed four people, according to 10 News.
Deanna Fridley was on trial in the case in which the four were killed in Pala Casino, California. Fridley claimed that she was not the driver of the car that got into the deadly December 14, 2007, accident, and one of the jurors in the case would not conclude that it was her, leading to the mistrial.
The jurors in the case informed the judge that they had reached an 11-1 deadlock. They had been apart for a holiday break, and on their return they announced that they could not come to a unanimous agreement on the charges.
Fridley was also accused of DUI causing injury and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license.
Judge Runston Maino, serving in the case, declined to enact a motion by the prosecution to replace the juror with an alternate juror. “You haven’t failed as jurors; you haven’t failed as individuals,” he told the jurors in light of their lack of unanimity.
Fridley, 26, faced four 15-years-to-life sentences if she had been convicted in the case. Her defense attorney, James Boyd, addressed the media after the mistrial was declared, saying that he was “really happy” with the result. “My question,” he said, “is how is it that 11 of them actually thought she was driving? It’s a real who-done-it. Was she driving or not?”
A retrial of the case could come in six to eight months, and there will be a status update in July.
According to prosecutors, Fridley was driving over 85 miles per hour and swerved over the lane divider before crashing into and killing Luis De Santiago, his wife Lina, and Luis Baez and his wife Rubi. They also claimed that Fridely had spent the day smoking meth and drinking with a friend. Fridley was allegedly driving a GMC Yukon, while the victims were in a Toyota Camry.
Fridley testified that she had switched seats with her friend before the crash. The friend, Anthony Boles, denies this claim.
Fridley will remain in custody, and her bail is set at $1 million.