NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The trial of a man charged with stalking Ashanti and her family ended in a mistrial Thursday, according to multiple published reports.
The mistrial was declared by Manhattan Supreme Court Daniel Conviser after it became clear that a sick juror would halt deliberations for more than 24 hours, according to a New York Times report. Conviser said while he did not like it, state law mandated that a mistrial must be declared in for such a disruption unless it was a weekend or holiday, the newspaper reported.
In a possible new trial, Ashanti might have to take the witness stand a second time to answer questions from defendant Devar Hurd, who is representing himself, the newspaper reported.
In closing arguments, Hurd told jurors that “there was nothing to show I intended to harass, annoy or alarm; nothing to show I intended to rape, kidnap or kill her. I never stalked this girl.”
However, as WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, prosecutor Rachel Earhart painted a far different picture of the case. As she put it, Hurd will not stop and is obsessed with the singer. We’ve all seen the movie, she said, about the obsessed fan who starts making contact through social media and starts showing up at events and asked, “What’s next?”
As the prosecutor told jurors, it was apparent how Hurd was “positively gleeful” sitting no more than 10 feet from Ashanti, taking his time to question her and keeping her on the stand as he knew this was the only way he’d ever be able to talk to her.
Ashanti says she was “disgusted” and “absolutely scared” when she learned in July 2013 that a fan who had been convicted of stalking her had since been tweeting her X-rated messages and posed for a photo with her sister.
Hurd was convicted in 2009 of stalking and served about two years in jail. He argued that if his tweets were not welcomed, the “Foolish” singer could have blocked him on the social media site.
He was charged in the latest case with stalking and aggravated harassment.
Prosecutors alleged that once Hurd got out of jail in 2011, he started harassing Ashanti again, beginning with phone calls to Tina Douglas, the singer’s mother and manager.
You Might Also Be Interested In:
[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]