HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A murder suspect is set to be back in court in less than two months for a new trial after Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson declared a mistrial in his case Thursday.
Johnny Owens III is accused of beating Larry Johnson to death on Feb 25, 2013. He is charged with second-degree murder.
According to District Attorney Joel Smith, a Harrison County jury deliberated for about two hours before announcing it had reached a unanimous guilty verdict. When the judge polled the jury about the verdict, it was determined it was not unanimous, according to Smith.
Investigators say Owens and Johnson were roommates at a home on Robinson Rd. in Gulfport when they got into a fight that turned deadly. Witnesses testified they heard a commotion and walked in to find Owens stomping on Johnson's head.
Investigators said Johnson suffered severe head trauma and he was taken to the hospital, where he later died. A forensic pathologist from the State Crime Lab testified Johnson died from multiple blunt force traumas to the head.
Owens' new trial will start on Dec. 12.