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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.

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