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Jurors sent home, defense wants mistrial in Northern Arizona University shooting case

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PHOENIX — Lawyers for a former Northern Arizona University student accused of shooting a fellow student to death have asked the judge to declare a mistrial.

Jurors in Flagstaff were sent home Wednesday over part of the prosecution’s closing arguments. Attorneys wrapped up closing arguments the previous day.

Coconino County Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton scheduled a hearing Thursday morning.

He told attorneys he was concerned the jury didn’t get complete information about Jones’ claim he acted in self-defense when he shot four students near the Flagstaff campus in October 2015.

Jones, 20, is accused of firing on a group of people during a drunken fight, killing Colin Brough and wounding Nicholas Piring, Nicholas Prato and Kyle Zeintek.

Prosecutors argued Jones wasn’t justified in using lethal force and portrayed him as the aggressor who chose to introduce the gun into an argument. They said he could have walked away from the fight without resorting to gunfire.

Jones’ attorney, Burges McCowan, said his client waited until the last possible moment to open fire as he was being chased by the group and that they had already hit him the face.

Jones pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges.

Prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty. A first-degree murder conviction carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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