Jury hung, mistrial declared in Bay St Louis murder case

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - By Al Showers – bio | email

BAY ST LOUIS, MS (WLOX) – Jurors could not decide if a Bay St. Louis man accused of murder was actually guilty of the crime. So the judge in the case declared a mistrial.

Michael Burks, 67, was accused of killing his neighbor in 2007. Thursday morning he took the stand in his own defense and admitted to struggling with the victim, Gary Joiner, 42, on the night of the shooting.

Burks said Joiner had burglarized his mobile home on Nassau Street earlier that same night and was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he called 911.

Burks said he armed himself with a shotgun, and confronted Joiner. He said they argued, and then fought over the weapon. During the struggle, Burks said the gun went off, striking Joiner in the head.

Jurors deliberated for several hours Thursday, but told the judge they were not able to reach a verdict. No decision has been made on whether Burks will be retried.

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