COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Troy Stevenson remains in jail on Tuesday despite a mistrial declared in his murder case.
Stevenson was the third man accused in the shooting of a Columbia mother of four in 2013.
Jurors listened to testimony for five days before beginning deliberations on Monday afternoon. However, the deliberations were stopped after prosecutors reported questionable behavior by one of the members of the jury.
Judge Robert Hood said that 11 jurors heard an alternate juror say "I've made up my mind" about the case. Hood also noted that the juror told other jurors "all black people should stick together" and the case was "ridiculous."
According to prosecutors, an alternate juror also embraced or kissed a member of Troy Stevenson's family. The interaction was seen by an investigator in a hall outside the courtroom after alternate jurors were released.
Prosecutors also noted that two female alternate jurors were seen walking down the street with Stevenson's family.
Attorneys for the state also said jurors were discussing evidence during the trial despite orders not to do so. Hood later said the communication was a direct violation of the court's orders.
"The fact that the majority of the jury failed to follow the repeated orders to not discuss the case in any manner with anyone -- given the serious risk of prejudice to both the state and the defendant, Council's in favor of granting a mistrial based upon juror misconduct," Hood said on Monday. "While no one indicated that they cannot be fair or impartial moving forward, it is my belief that the jury has been exposed to pressure from the defendant's family and/or associates and a juror who attempted to improperly persuade the jury and they have openly disregarded the court's instructions to refrain from discussing the case."
Hood went on to say that juror misconduct was "pervasive" in this case.
Stevenson was accused of being a lookout for Trenton Barnes and Lorenzo Young who were both convicted last December in the murder of Kelly Hunnewell.
Stevenson was charged with murder. Last week, he rejected an offered plea agreement.
Barnes, who is Stevenson's half brother, testified on his behalf on Friday.
A retrial date has not been set for Stevenson, according to the Solicitor's Office.
Hunnewell was working overnight at a Columbia bakery in July 2013 when she gunned down during an attempted armed robbery.