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Mistrial declared in Northern Arizona University shooting case

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LISTEN: Monica Lindstrom, Mac and Gaydos Legal Expert, NAU Shooting Case

PHOENIX — A mistrial was declared Tuesday in the case of a shooting near the Northern Arizona University campus that left one dead and three injured.

Steven Jones, 20, had been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the 2015 shooting in Flagstaff. He pleaded not guilty.

The case will have a status hearing in June and will likely begin jury selection anew in early August, Coconino County Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton told the courtroom.

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

Colin Brough was killed in the shooting that took place after a fight outside of an off-campus apartment near NAU. Nicholas Piring, Nicholas Prato and Kyle Zeintek were wounded. All of them were unarmed.

Jones told police he shot the group of students with a .40-caliber handgun only after they hit him in the face and chased him, according to court documents. An officer noticed he had a split lip and Jones said he had been hit “pretty hard” in the back of the head, according to a police report.

A report released a few months after the shooting said Jones was sober at the time, while the four victims were not. All of them were legally intoxicated and all, save for Piring, tested positive for recent marijuana use.

Defense attorneys requested a mistrial after Slayton sent the jury home last week, but it was denied Thursday. The jury was called back before breaking on Friday for the weekend. Monday was an off day.

Jurors asked about a half-dozen questions Friday, including whether Brough had a right to charge Jones and what was the law regarding pointing a gun at an unarmed person.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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