Crime & Courts

Capital murder case to be retried, Mecklenburg prosecutors announce

Mecklenburg prosecutors will retry the capital murder case against Damarcus Ivey, after a jury deadlocked Tuesday and a mistrial was declared.

Ivey is accused of shooting Adrian Youngblood, 25, during a 2009 robbery at a strip club on Little Rock Road. His freedom depended on whether a Mecklenburg jury believed he was the hooded gunman in a grainy, black-and-white video from the club.

Ivey, 33, faced a possible death sentence if convicted. After the mistrial, he remained in the Mecklenburg jail with no bond, still charged with murder.

A trial date has yet to be set, as prosecutors must work to reschedule the case at an appropriate time in the courts’ trial calendar, the Mecklenburg District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.

“As the matter remains a pending case, prosecutors’ ethical obligations prevent them from commenting further at this time,” the statement said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the jury of seven men and five women sent a note to Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin saying they couldn’t reach the required unanimous verdict.

The mistrial hinged on one juror, Jacqueline McCain, who said in a note to the judge that she felt Ivey was innocent.

For about an hour, Ervin listened to prosecutors and defense attorneys debate whether to clarify the law for jurors or give them more time to help them come to a unanimous decision.

Norman Butler, one of Ivey’s defense attorneys, argued that such a move could be seen as coercive.

Ervin polled the jurors, asking if they believed they could agree on a verdict if given more time. When they indicated they couldn’t, he declared a mistrial.

Afterward, outside the courtroom, McCain approached Butler and said her conscience would not allow her to vote guilty.

“I thanked the judge for not making me do something I didn’t want to do,” McCain told the Observer. “I did not believe that man was guilty.”