Murder trial of Richmond police officer ends with hung jury

Murder trial of Richmond police officer ends with hung jury
Paterson Brown Jr., a graduate of James River High School
Paterson Brown Jr., a graduate of James River High School

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The jury in the murder case of a Richmond police officer could not come up with a verdict on Friday and the case has ended in a mistrial.

The three-day trial this week saw David Cobb break down on the stand when he recalled the morning that he learned 18-year-old Paterson Brown Jr. died after a shooting at a Chesterfield car wash in October 2015.

Cobb had testified that if Brown had shown his hands, he would have backed off. He said he only shot when he saw the teen reach across his body.

Cobb says he believed that Brown was going for a weapon, but investigators say they never found a weapon on Brown or at the scene.

In the second day of the trial, a surveillance video was shown as evidence for the jury to determine whether Brown was reaching across his body or not.

The video, which hasn't been released to the public, also shows Brown getting out of his friend's car, smoking and then getting into a dark-colored two-door Nissan Altima, which was in front of his friend's vehicle in line for the car wash.

Throughout the lengthy video, Brown is seen sitting in the car and refuses commands from car wash attendants to roll up windows.

The trial also had testimony from Juan Carrillo, one of two people who had been with Brown the morning of the October shooting.

Carrillo testified that he, Brown and several other people had participated in an armed robbery in October 2014.

In that instance, Carrillo says that Brown held a gun to a young man's head as they robbed him of his cell phone.

The jury got the case on Thursday afternoon and deliberated until the early evening and again on Friday morning.

Around noon when the jury couldn't come up with a verdict, the judge ordered them to continue deliberating. The hung jury was announced just after 2:15 p.m.

Earlier this year, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said the shooting was "an unfortunate and tragic situation for all involved."

"Officer Cobb is an outstanding police officer and has served the department and community well," said Durham.

Family and friends of both David Cobb and Paterson Brown didn't have much to say after this jury couldn't reach a decision.

Cobb's attorney David Baugh was guarded with his comments.

"I can't cause the judge said this trial is to be set for trial again, as far as I'm concerned this is a pending case and I cannot comment on a pending case," responded Baugh.

While this jury couldn't decide whether this was a case of self-defense or murder, another jury will have to make that decision.

But, Baugh says the 7-men and 5-women in this jury are to be commended.

"You can always trust a well prepared jury and the fact that they came back with this verdict means they took it seriously," he explains.

As for Friday's hung jury, the Commonwealth declined to comment.

"I never predict what a jury is going to do. You can't tell," Baugh says.

But for now, he says he's focused on his client.

"I can't imagine what he's going through," he says.

A new trial date is expected to be set by July 18th.


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