UTICA – A mistrial has been declared in the Ricky Woods Jr. second-degree murder trial.
Twenty-year-old Woods of Yorkville was charged with second-degree murder and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon in connection to the 2015 shooting death of Jamal Mathis. On December 19, 2015, police found Mathis dead of several gunshot wounds in a backyard on Leeds Street, allegedly following a party.
Woods was charged with the crime in March 2017. Several witnesses testified last week during the trial that Woods and Mathis got into an argument in a driveway outside the party, and Woods pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot Mathis.
This afternoon the jury told the judge that they could not reach a unanimous verdict on the second-degree murder charge, but they did find Woods not guilty on the weapons charges.
Woods' defense attorney Devin Garramone says he was pleased with the outcome, but he will still move head and prepare for a second trial if indeed the prosecution decides they want to retry the case, "I think I'm going to be doing a lot more investigation in preparation for the next trial. Things always come up at trial that you weren't expecting and it reshapes the next hearing because obviously we have testimony from all of those witnesses that they're pretty much locked in to what they said, so that gives you a much more certain path for the next time, now that you know what they're going to say."
Garramone says Woods was happy with the outcome, "Well obviously he's very relieved. There's been a lot of turmoil and drama throughout the entire proceeding so he's very tired and he was very pleased with the results obviously and I think we have to just regroup and start getting ready for the next stage of events."
Earlier this year, Woods was convincted of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree kidnapping and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon for an incident that happened January 2 in which 20-year-old Khalil Gilmore was taken to a location against his will and shot. Woods has not yet been sentenced on those charges.
Both sides in the Woods murder trial are scheduled to be back in Court on December 8th where the prosecution may have a decision on whether it wants to retry the case.
If the prosecution decides it does not want to retry the case, Judge Michael Dwyer will then set a sentencing date for Woods on the attempted murder of Khalil Gilmore.
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