HomeNews Texas man out of Gunnison jail after mistrial declared
Texas man out of Gunnison jail after mistrial declared
Written by Alissa Johnson
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
New trial set for April
Seventh Judicial District Chief Judge J. Steven Patrick declared a mistrial last weekend in a case charging a Texas man with murder. Frederick Mueller, a San Angelo businessman, had been on trial for five weeks in Gunnison for allegedly murdering his wife, Leslie, near Lake City in May 2008.
But after three and a half days of deliberation, the jury was unable to deliver a verdict. Court documents show that on Saturday, February 9, the jury told the court it was at an impasse. Patrick then gave the jury what is called a modified Allen instruction, which generally encourages jurors in the minority to reconsider. But according to the court document, it was only minutes later that the jury again indicated it was deadlocked. Judge Patrick declared a mistrial. According to reports, 11 jurors were ready to acquit Mueller, while one was sticking with a guilty verdict. The case itself has garnered national attention. Leslie Mueller’s death was initially declared an accident, and Frederick Mueller claimed his wife fell off a cliff-side trail to her death. The subsequent investigation by local law enforcement, however, resulted in Mueller’s arrest last February. Mueller has been in the Gunnison County Jail since then but was released on Saturday after the mistrial was declared. Bond was set for $150,000 cash or surety on the standard conditions, including waiver of extradition and surrender of passport to authorities. Judge Patrick set a date for a new five-week trial in Montrose, starting April 29, and a status conference will be held on February 19 to see if the prosecution wishes to continue.