HATTIESBURG, Miss.–Johnny Dupree is still the mayor of Hattiesburg, for now. Attorneys for challenger Dave Ware have asked the judge to declare Ware the winner of the June general election after he declared a mistrial about 7:15 Tuesday evening.
The jury had initially returned the required verdict of 9-3 in favor of making Ware the winner. But, WDAM reported when the judge polled the jurors several times he only got an 8-4 answer. He even went so far as to have the jurors write down their names and whether they were in favor of the verdict and still got just an 8-4.
“I’ve never seen anything like this where we actually get a favorable verdict and then have it turn around into a mistrial right before our very eyes,” Cory Wilson, an attorney for Ware told the TV station.
There’s now more to come in the courtroom. There are several motions expected to be considered Friday. One of those is whether the judge will render a verdict not withstanding the jury.
The case came to trial because the election was very close and even though incumbent Johnny DuPree was declared the winner, challenger Ware said there were suspicious absentee ballots that could make the difference.