A mistrial was declared Tuesday as jurors are unable to decide whether a man should be sentenced to death for the 1988 fatal shooting of a Miami police officer.
On Monday, the jury foreman told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked after more than three days of deliberating the case of Dennis Escobar. But Circuit Judge Leon Firtel asked them to continue deliberating.
Reports say the jury sent the judge a note about 4 p.m. Monday asking if they could go home for the night. They returned Tuesday morning and a mistrial was declared.
Escobar and his brother were convicted in 1991 of murdering Victor Estefan. The state supreme court later overturned the conviction.
During the five-week retrial, prosecutors said Escobar confessed to shooting Estefan, dumping the weapon in a canal and fleeing to California with his brother.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office issued a statement Tuesday, saying: "The preservation of democracy and our nation rests on the foundation of public order and the rule of law. Nothing attacks these pillars like the murder of a law enforcement officer entrusted with protecting our citizenry. This crime strikes at the very core of the American identity.
For a quarter of a century we have labored to hold responsible the individuals we believe caused the death of Miami Police Officer Victor Estefan. Officer Estefan died a hero protecting our community. Our hearts go out to Officer Estefan’s widow, family members, friends, and the entire law enforcement community who have stood by our side for all of these years.
Now, with the declaration of a mistrial in the prosecution of Dennis Escobar for Officer Estefan ‘s murder, I wish to make it clear that the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has every intention of retrying this case."