Jurors were unable to reach a verdict Wednesday in the murder trial of a Texas teen-ager accused of robbing a woman at gunpoint, then killing a good Samaritan who gave chase in an attempt to capture him.
Van Nuys Superior Court Judge James A. Albracht declared a mistrial after jurors announced that they were hopelessly deadlocked, 6 to 6, in the trial of John Wayne Henderson, 18, after four days of deliberations.
Four witnesses testified during the trial that Henderson stole a woman's purse as she entered her car in the parking lot of a Ralphs market in Van Nuys on Jan. 3, 1984. The witnesses said the suspect then fled on foot.
Ronnie Nelson, 26, of Panorama City heard the woman scream and chased the assailant on his motorcycle, only to be fatally shot through the heart. Another man wrestled down the suspect in the alley behind the market and, although the killer got away, the witness stripped him of his high school letterman's jacket, according to testimony.