IGOTD Update: Hung Jury For Officer Derek Carlile

Officer Derek Carlile’s 2nd-Degree Manslaughter trial ended with a hung jury and a mistrial yesterday. Prosecutors are deciding whether to re-try the case in January. Back in March, 2012 we ran a post on the tragic and entirely avoidable death of Officer Derek Carlile’s young daughter. Carlile, a Marysville, WA police officer, left his loaded .38 revolver in his van’s front seat cup-holder with his four children in the car. Carlile’s young son Steele let himself out of his booster seat, picked up the gun, and shot his 7 year-old sister with it. She died at a Seattle hospital . . .

From the Seattle Times:

EVERETT — The trial of a Marysville police officer who was accused of negligence in the shooting death of his 7-year-old daughter came to an emotional end Tuesday when jurors announced they were deadlocked and a judge declared a mistrial.

The jury weighing the fate of Derek Carlile said they were split 7-4 in favor of acquittal, with one undecided, after hearing how the officer’s 3-year-old son fatally shot his older sister with Carlile’s handgun in the family’s van in March.

Snohomish County prosecutors immediately announced a Jan. 29 date for a second trial for Carlile, which drew sobs from Carlile’s wife.

But Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Joan Cavagnaro told reporters that setting a new trial date was a procedural formality. She indicated her office would carefully evaluate the case, weighing what jurors said and how they were split, before deciding whether to seek a retrial.

Regardless of whether or not a jury feels sorry for Carlile, I applaud the prosecutor’s decision to make him stand trial for his daughter’s death. Each of us knows that if we caused a child’s death in this way, we would certainly face criminal prosecution. The fact that Carlile is a police officer should not, and thankfully did not, influence the prosecutor’s decision to uphold the law equally.