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Mistrial Declared In Parking Space Beating Case

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Oscar Fuller in court (credit: CBS 2)

Oscar Fuller in court (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A mistrial has been declared in the case against a man who admitted hitting a woman who ended up brain-damaged in a faceoff over a Manhattan parking spot.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case

Oscar Fuller had faced a potential seven years in prison if convicted of assault. But jurors told the judge Monday, their fourth day of deliberations, that they were deadlocked.

“We cannot reach a unanimous decision. The majority of us believe there is no benefit to continue deliberations,” the jury wrote in a note to the judge.

Fuller and Lana Rosas clashed in February over an East Village parking spot. Rosas was standing in the spot on East 14 Street, physically saving the space for her boyfriend.

Fuller stepped out of his car to speak with her. He claims Rosas threw the first of several punches – striking him in the face.

Prosecutors say the 35-year-old Fuller hit Rosas in the face out of rage. She fell, hit her head and was in a coma for about a week. The 25-year-old still wears a helmet because of her injuries.

Fuller’s lawyer said prosecutors didn’t prove Fuller intended to cause a serious injury, as the assault charge requires.

The jury apparently struggled with the issue of intent, asking repeatedly to be re-read legal instructions on it.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones with Thomas Kenniff

“The jury’s inability to reach a verdict, it is a victory,” attorney Thomas Kenniff said. “This situation, while unfortunate, was not initiated by Oscar Fuller.”

Kenniff said Rosas engaged in “reckless conduct” in using her body to save a parking spot and “running up on a stranger initiating a physical confrontation.”

Neither Rosas nor her attorney did not speak after leaving court.

Prosecutors vow to retry the case in January.

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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