Jury reports ‘toxic’ deliberations in stabbing homicide trial; judge declares mistrial
JANESVILLE, Wis. — The judge in a Rock County trial against a man accused of a stabbing a woman while she was on the toilet in 2017 declared a mistrial Thursday.
Julian D. Collazo, 22, is facing a felony first-degree intentional homicide charge. He’s accused of killing 43-year-old Christine Scaccia-Lubeck and then fleeing to Missouri before getting caught. Collazo reportedly told another inmate that he stabbed Scaccia-Lubeck while she was on the toilet. He said she got off the toilet and went toward the bedroom where she had a gun near the side table, but did not make it to the gun, according to a criminal complaint filed in January.
Collazo also reportedly told the other inmate that he killed a woman because he wanted to prove to another woman, Nicole Kazar, that he could protect her.
Collazo’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Jensen, argued that it wasn’t Collazo, but Kazar, who murdered Scaccia-Lubeck.
Jensen said that Kazar allegedly stabbed Scaccia-Lubeck to death after becoming jealous of her relationship with Collazo.
BREAKING: The trial of Julian Collazo has been ruled a mistrial. The jury could not work together to reach a verdict. A court bailiff described the jury as becoming hostile with one another and at one point, making threats towards one another.
The trial will have to reschedule.
— Adam Duxter (@News3Adam) October 24, 2019
After a four-day trial, the jury told Judge Barbara McCrory that deliberations had become “toxic,” and that one juror had threatened another juror.
“It’s my understanding that your situation has become what people would call a ‘toxic’ situation. And unfortunately, that is what is occurring a lot more in this country. (People feel that) ‘if you don’t agree with me, then that’s it, we’re done.’ I don’t know how much of that occurred with your deliberations, and it’s unfortunate if it did because the jury room is where you’re supposed to have an honest exchange of information and be able to talk. That’s why we keep you secluded, so no other people can be there.”
The jury told the judge that after more than five hours of deliberating that they couldn’t discuss the case anymore. McCrory asked the 12 jurors if there was any way they could continue, and each juror said individually that they could not. McCrory declared a mistrial, thanked the jury and dismissed them.
“Unfortunately, for the victims in this case, it prolongs them having any sort of decision. And same for Mr. Collazo,” McCrory said.
A new trial will need to be scheduled, she said. A hearing to reschedule the trial was scheduled for Dec. 18.
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