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Ariz. jury deadlocks in murder trial of ex-editor

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm •  Published: January 3, 2013

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) — A former firearms magazine editor's murder trial in Arizona ended when a mistrial was declared after the jury couldn't reach a verdict.

A new trial for Golden Valley resident Richard Erick Venola is scheduled for Feb. 26, the Mohave Daily News ( reported Thursday.

Venola, 54, is charged with second-degree murder in the May 2 shooting death of an unarmed neighbor, James Patrick O'Neill, 39.

Judge Steven Conn of Mohave County Superior Court declared the mistrial Wednesday in Kingman after the jury deadlocked.

Venola is a former editor of Guns & Ammo magazine.

Prosecutor Rod Albright said during the trial that Venola and O'Neill were both extremely drunk and argued before the shooting.

Defense attorney Ron Gilleo argued Venola shot O'Neill in self-defense because Venola believed O'Neill was going to get a gun to shoot him.

Gilleo also said his client did not flee or run away, that he admitted to shooting O'Neill, and that he cooperated fully with police.

O'Neill was shot once in the shoulder, but the bullet reached his heart.


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