The State of North Carolina vs. Demarcus Ivey. Take two.
In December, Ivey’s two-month murder trial ended in a hung jury when a single juror refused to budge from her belief that the 33-year-old did not shoot a helpless man during a 2009 robbery of a west Charlotte strip club.
On Thursday, the prosecution may formally get a second chance. Ivey is scheduled to make a morning appearance in Superior Court. A docket notation for the defendant’s slot says the purpose is to “address counsel and/or set trial date.”
Ivey’s first trial ended Dec. 2. It took weeks to pick a jury. After weeks more of testimony, Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin ordered a mistrial with jurors deadlocked over one vote and told him they could not reach a unanimous verdict.
Ivey is accused of shooting 25-year-old Adrian Youngblood at Club Nikki’s on Little Rock Road. His police record includes numerous arrests for crimes of violence, including kidnappings, assaults, armed robberies and assaulting a government official. He remains in the Mecklenburg jail without bond.
Ivey faced the death penalty last year. Prosecutors would not say Thursday whether they will prosecute Ivey as a capital case if given the second chance.
During the first trial, Ivey’s attorneys, Norman Butler and Grady Jessup, attacked the prosecution’s case for its lack of witnesses or a firearm to connect their client to the killing. They also said police botched the DNA testing.
Assistant district attorneys Bill Stetzer and Bill Bunting argued that Ivey’s DNA tied him to what Stetzer described in court as the “sport killing” of Youngblood.
The prosecution also showed the jury a compilation video of the afternoon robbery. In it, two gunmen in sweatshirts, whom prosecutors identify as Ivey and Kevin Bishop, drove up to the club in a Ford pickup. After entering, they ordered about a dozen of the club’s patrons, staff and dancers to get on the floor.
Ivey, prosecutors say, wore a dark gray hoodie. As the robbers left, the man in the dark gray sweatshirt stopped by Youngblood and ripped something off the back of his neck. A few second later, he paused at the doorway, then fired his handgun directly down at Youngblood, who crumpled to the floor.
Later that day, police chased a Ford truck on Interstate 85. The pickup crashed shortly after exiting onto Beatties Ford Road. Two men fled. Bishop and Ivey were arrested nearby. (Bishop is serving a 20-year prison term for second-degree murder in connection with the case.)
Inside the truck, police found loot taken from Club Nikki’s, Stetzer said. They also found a dark gray sweatshirt on the passenger side.