End of murder case sought after juries deadlock
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. -- Mohave County prosecutors are asking a judge to dismiss a murder charge against a former firearms magazine editor who had two trials end in deadlocked juries.
A prosecution motion filed Tuesday said the evidence against 54-year-old Richard Erick Venola wasn't sufficient to overcome self-defense claims.
Venola was charged with second-degree murder for shooting an unarmed neighbor, 39-year-old James Patrick O'Neill, in the chest with a rifle on May 2, 2011.
According to Today's News Herald, Deputy Mohave County Attorney Rod Albright argued during both trials that Venola and O'Neill were extremely drunk when they argued before the shooting in the duplex where Venola lived.
Venola's lawyer said the former editor for >i>Guns & Ammo magazine feared O'Neill was going to get a gun.