CRIME

Mistrial declared in D.C. police officer Samson Lawrence III's attempted murder case

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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJLA) - A hung jury resulted in a mistrial being declared Thursday evening in the case of a D.C. police officer charged with trying to kill his wife.

Samson Lawrence III, shown in mugshot following his arrest. (File photo)

The four male and eight female jurors told a Prince George's County judge that they were hopelessly deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict in the trial of Samson Lawrence III on multiple counts, including attempted murder.

In a sometimes tearful testimony earlier this week, Lawrence's wife of 20 years described in detail how her husband sprayed Lysol in her face, beat her with a metal light post and threatened her with knives last November when he got angry while trying to hang a projection television at the couple's home in Accokeek.

Jurors also heard a 911 call made by a neighbor, with Lawrence’s wife, Betty, screaming in the background. The jury also heard the couple’s 17-year-old daughter reluctantly describe hearing her mother’s screams.

In court, Samson Lawrence’s attorney said the charges weren’t true, asking Betty Lawrence if she hallucinated and said the cut on her head was the result of a fall.

The jury was apparently split 10 to two after hours of deliberation.

“We are surprised and we are disappointed,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney spokesperson John Erzen. “We certainly felt we had a strong case, and we put on the best case we could. Our evidence was very strong, however, we understand this is our system of justice.”

He said the State’s Attorney planned to retry the case.

Meanwhile on Friday, a judge will hear arguments that Lawrence possibly violated an order to stay away from his wife. The order was a condition of his bond.

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