Murder trial ends in a hung jury; case to be retried

The nearly two-month-long trial of the man whom King County Prosecutors say shot and killed two people during a melee in the parking lot outside the Sports Page Tavern in 2013 ended in a hung jury March 14 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Cleanthony Jimerson was up against two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Lorenzo Duncan, 23, and Nicholas Greer, 24, and, as a convicted felon, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The jury hung on all charges.

Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said Tuesday afternoon that the case has been set back on the trial calendar for May 8.

The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure state: “The verdict must be unanimous. … If the jury cannot agree on all counts as to any defendant, the jury may return a verdict on those counts on which it has agreed. … If the jury cannot agree on a verdict on one or more counts, the court may declare a mistrial on those counts. A hung jury does not imply either the defendant’s guilt or innocence. The government may retry any defendant on any count on which the jury could not agree.”

Prosecutors said Jimerson stood above Greer and Duncan as they lay helpless on the ground and fired bullets into their heads and bodies, and that friends of the two men then shot Jimerson.

Also killed in that early morning melee was Antuan Greer, 21. But according to Auburn Police, a stray bullet, fired by an unknown person, probably killed Greer.

According to what witnesses told detectives, the argument that led to the fatal shootings started between two women on the tavern’s dance floor, one of them among the group that numbered Duncan, Lindsay and Greer.

The physical fight began outside in the parking lot, five minutes after closing, when 100 patrons were milling out, and security got busy directing people to their cars.

Loud talk outside from one of the women involved in the previous argument led to a fistfight between men in the two groups, according to the affidavit. According to the affidavit, a few of the fighters went south of the parking lot and out onto Auburn Way North to fight and the rest began moving north through the parking lot, toward where the fatal shots were later fired.

Several witnesses told police that a woman first fired a warning shot into the air to break up the fight. Hearing that, a witness said, a man, perhaps believing that shots were being fired for real, ran to his car across the lot and grabbed a gun. An estimated 20-to-30 seconds after the warning shot, multiple individuals pulled out their handguns and began firing.

Although witness accounts of the fatal shootings vary widely, a number of witnesses identified or described Jimerson as the man who had shot and killed the two men.

The Sports Page Tavern has since gone out of business.

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