BUENA VISTA, Va. – The jury deliberating one man’s verdict in a Rockbridge County gas station explosion trial has been dismissed.
Phillip Westmoreland is the man believed to be responsible for the 2019 explosion, charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Jurors deliberated for over three hours on Wednesday, then requested more they come back on Thursday morning to continue their deliberations.
On Thursday morning, the jury asked to listen to the hour and 45-minute long interview between Westmoreland and police.
Then, early Thursday afternoon, the jury told the judge they still could not reach a verdict.
The judge asked them to return to the jury room to see if they could come to a unanimous decision, but to no avail. They returned empty-handed, and then they were dismissed.
The judge hasn’t declared this a mistrial just yet, and the defense asked the judge to throw out the charges against Westmoreland.
If he doesn’t, the attorneys will schedule another hearing to determine if this is a mistrial, which could be weeks in the future.
After that, prosecutors can ask for another jury to consider the case.