The trial of 51-year old construction worker, Bobby Jo Hatchcock, took a peculiar turn after a jury failed to reach a unanimous decision. Hatchcock has been on trial for the murder of a New York back in 1997.
Broome County Court Judge Martin Smith declared a mistrial after the jurors admitted to failing to reach a unanimous decision, even after deliberating carefully for 10 hours over the course of 3 days.
It is still unclear as to what exactly divided opinion, however a main issue seemed to be defense questions regarding bite marks on the victim.This proved to be a challenge to prosecutors who failed to provide a match between these bites and the defendant because his teeth were removed in the years that followed the crime, making it impossible to collect dental impressions.
Hatchcock was charged with the second-degree murder of prostitute Terry Dittman, after her body was found dead behind a city garage in Binghamton, June 1997.She was a mother of three with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. She had been severely beaten with the cause of death a slit throat.
According to testimony, Hatchcock’s defense argued that since his teeth had been removed and the court could provide no dental impressions, the bite marks found on the victims breast could have been caused by an individual other than Hatchcock.
Although there was evidence of Hatchcock’s DNA found on a condom during Dittman’s autopsy, and also on other areas of the victims body; the DNA of other men was also found on the victim, leaving defense to ask if the prosecution could prove which DNA had been left on the body last. The Prosecution could not provide an answer.
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