MAYNARDVILLE (WATE) – The judge has declared a mistrial in the trial for former Knox County Schools security officer Kevin Waggoner, who is accused of murder.
The jury foreperson said Tuesday around 6 p.m. that the jury was hopelessly deadlocked and more time would not render a verdict. The jury had been deliberating for around 12 hours.
Kevin Waggoner had been on trial in Union County and accused of shooting his neighbor, Michael Woodby in 2013. Investigators say Waggoner shot Woodby four times.
After dismissing jury members, the judge told both the Waggoners and the Woodbys to leave the courtroom separately. The tension was high between the families for the whole trial.
“I just can’t even begin to tell you how bad it was just to see the people that cold blooded, calculating, murdered my brother, hunted him down like a dog,” said Johnnie Sue Bridges, Michael Woodby’s sister.
The Waggoners and Woodbys, who lived across the street from each other, had been feuding for years. They recorded their encounters with each other from their yards. The nearly 180 hours of footage was used as evidence in the trial.
During the trial, Waggoner took the stand, telling jurors he and his son had gone for a walk in 2013 when an intoxicated Michael Woodby came up behind them yelling, and attacked his son with a walking stick. He testified there were constant threats made to his son.
That’s why defense attorneys say Waggoner shot his neighbor four times out of self defense, but prosecutors believe it was an ambush.
Woodby’s sister says she hopes the case will be retried and prosecutors should go after Waggoner for premeditated first degree murder instead of second degree murder.
“I will go through it for Michael. I mean there was no one there for him when he was crying out. It’s the least we can do now,” she said.
The Waggoners did not want to comment about the mistrial declaration.
Attorneys from both sides are supposed to meet with the judge soon about the possibility of the case being retried.