Judge declares mistrial for 2 charged in attack on Black FedEx worker making delivery
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT/Gray News) - A judge declared a mistrial in the case involving a white father and son, Greg and Brandon Case, charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting at a Black FedEx Driver, D’Monterrio Gibson.
Judge David Strong declared the mistrial minutes into Day 3 of trial for the father and son accused of shooting at Gibson.
Brandon Case and his father, Gregory Charles Case, are charged with attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy and shooting into the vehicle driven by Gibson in January 2022. They sat with their attorneys in a small courtroom full of spectators.
Thursday, defense attorneys said a key witness in the case, detective Vincent Fernando with the Brookhaven Police Department, violated multiple rules while on the witness stand. He blurted out statements that were excluded in this trial and withheld evidence, attorneys said to the judge, asking the judge for a mistrial.
WARNING: Video includes strong language.
Gibson’s attorneys disagreed, arguing that a mistrial was unnecessary, but the judge said he “had no other choice” but to grant the motion for a mistrial.
On Wednesday, the judge ended the day’s session early after Detective Vincent Fernando acknowledged under oath while the jury was out of the courtroom that he had not previously given prosecutors or defense attorneys a videotaped statement police had taken from Gibson.
The judge said the officer also improperly testified about some guns that were found in the home of one of the men on trial and about gun shell casings found outside the home. Defense attorneys requested the mistrial, and Strong said he had no choice but to grant it.
“In 17 years, I don’t think I’ve seen it,” the judge said.
Terrell Stubbs, the defense attorney for Gregory Case, declined to comment. Gregory and Brandon Case remain out on bond.
Sharon McClendon, Gibson’s mother, burst out with a loud expletive in the courtroom after the judge’s announcement, and she left as uniformed Mississippi Highway Patrol officers walked in her direction.
While the judge didn’t condone the behavior, he said he understood it.
“Look, I know this is emotional. I can promise you. Nobody hates this worse than I do,” Strong said.
The encounter between Gibson and the Cases happened as Gibson made deliveries for FedEx on the evening of Jan. 24, 2022, while driving a rental van with the Hertz logo on three sides. After he dropped off a package at a home on a dead-end public road, Gregory Case used a pickup truck to try to block the van from leaving, and Brandon Case came outside with a gun, District Attorney Dee Bates told the majority-white jury.
As Gibson drove the van around the pickup truck, shots were fired, with three rounds hitting the delivery van and some of the packages inside, Bates said.
Greg Case reported the van to police as a suspicious vehicle, the defense attorney said, after he saw it outside his mother-in-law’s unoccupied home and went to check what was happening.
Copyright 2023 WLBT via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.