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Mistrial declared in Halloween killing of boy dressed as Spider-Man

March 29, 2013|By Cindy Chang and Hailey Branson-Potts | This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
  • Leonard Hall Jr. at his arraignment in 2011. A jury could not reach a verdict in his murder trial.
Leonard Hall Jr. at his arraignment in 2011. A jury could not reach a verdict… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

A Los Angeles jury failed to reach a verdict Friday in the trial of Leonard Hall Jr., accused of fatally shooting a 5-year-old boy dressed as Spider-Man on Halloween.

The judge declared a mistrial after the jury announced it was deadlocked following a little more than two days of deliberations.

Aaron Shannon Jr. was showing off his Spider-Man costume to relatives in the backyard of his great-grandmother’s South L.A. home on Oct. 31, 2010, when two men opened fire from an alley.

At least one of the rounds struck Aaron in the back of the head. His uncle was hit in the leg and his grandfather on the wrist. The boy died at a hospital the next day.

A few days later, police arrested two men: Hall, then 21, and Marcus Denson, then 18. Both were suspected members of the Kitchen Crips Gang. Police said the pair crossed into a rival gang's territory looking for someone -- anyone -- to shoot as payback for an earlier shooting.

Denson has pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and one count of voluntary manslaughter. He testified against Hall at the trial and is scheduled for sentencing May 17.

For the Record, 2:42 p.m. March 29: A previous version of this post said the jury returned after four days of deliberations, but it was a little more than two days of deliberations.


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