'Unswerving pursuit of justice' will continue in Bernard Bailey - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

'Unswerving pursuit of justice' will continue in Bernard Bailey case, family says

Bernard Bailey (Source: The Orangeburg Times and Democrat) Bernard Bailey (Source: The Orangeburg Times and Democrat)
ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

The family of Bernard Bailey, the unarmed Eutawville man killed outside town hall while a warrant was being served for his arrest in 2011, has released a statement saying their "unswerving pursuit of justice" continues. 

The jury in the case against ex-Eutawville Police Chief Richard Combs, who was charged with Bailey's murder, deliberated for over 12 hours on Monday before informing the judge they were deadlocked on a verdict. 

Judge Edgar Dickson later declared a mistrial.

Bailey's family said they appreciated the jury's service. 

"We thank those who have sincerely displayed the courage and continued dedication needed to ensure that justice is for all in this case," the statement said. 

After 12 hours of waiting, dozens of people filed out of the courtroom, some in tears, after a jury failed to rule on the guilt of Richard Combs in the fatal 2011 shooting of Bernard Bailey.

"We're disappointed that we don't have a final result but at the same time I think both sides felt that way," said Combs attorney Wally Fayssoux. "I think it was an important issue I think they took it very seriously.”

Fayssoux said he believes the jury had a lot to grapple with during its discussion.

The defense has long made the case that the former Eutawville chief acted in self-defense, out of fear Bailey would run him over with his truck.

Yet early signs showed the state has no signs of letting the case go.

Minutes after the jury was dismissed, solicitor David Pascoe told reporters he would look to try Combs a second time.

"It could be two months...three months we have to just wait and see," Pascoe said.

Yet legal experts say even though the prosecution got 9 jurors to rule guilty, getting a conviction could prove more difficult on second attempt.

"Evidence and testimony from the first trial is admissible and they have the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” said USC law professor Colin Miller. “What that means is if any witnesses for the prosecution change their testimony even slightly. Their prior inconsistent statements can be used against them."

One group who will not give up is Bailey's family, many of whom were present throughout the course of the trial.

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