Second trial of Ketchikan teen accused of murder ends in hung jury

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2001

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The murder trial of Jose M. ''Che'' Mateu, charged in the January 2000 shooting of his father, again ended in a mistrial.

A Ketchikan Superior Court jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on Wednesday after three days of deliberations. Mateu's first trial in May also ended in a hung jury.

Mateu, 18, was charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the Jan. 13 shooting death of his father, Jose R. Mateu.

The elder Mateu was found dead in his home by Alaska State Troopers after he failed to report to work the next day.

Prosecutors argued bullet fragments found at the crime scene matched those of a box of ammunition found in the house.

District Attorney Steve West argued ''Che'' Mateu shot his father after they ate dinner together and then spent the night at a friend's home.

Defense attorney Louis Menendez argued that most of the state's case is speculation. Prosecutors could not say when Jose R. Mateu died and defense witnesses contested some lab tests the prosecution used as evidence.

West will decide within 10 days whether to retry Mateu a third time, he said.

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