Mistrial declared in State College burglary case

After two days of testimony, a jury was deadlocked in the cases against Stephen Dodd, 22, and Gabriel Beecher, 21, both of Milford.

The pair were charged with felony counts of burglary and criminal trespass. The jury was undecided on those issues. They returned a not guilty verdict on the lesser crimes of simple assault, a misdemeanor.

The trial court found Beecher guilty of the summary offense of underage drinking.

The charges stem from a 2013 incident in downtown State College where the defendants were accused of forcing their way into an apartment to start a fight with residents.

A mistrial was declared around midnight Tuesday in relation to the undecided charges. Those will continue in the system with a fresh jury at a later date.

District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller went on record with her opposition to the court’s decision to take the jury’s reluctance to continue and declare a mistrial.

“None of the parties were ever assembled on the record to discuss a possible hung jury, as is required by law and due process. The commonwealth and defense have the right to hear from the jury on the record in court before a hung jury is declared. We did not get that chance,” she said.

“Such a rushed outcome is an injustice to the many commonwealth witnesses, victims who now have to come relive this trial, the police who investigated this case, the jurors who spent two long days patiently listening to many witnesses and were doing their best and were very engaged and the defendants themselves who will have to pay their lawyers again to be retried. It also crushes the already strained resources of our system. These cases are serious matters for all involved.”