Mistrial declared in Hoover rape case

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - After 12 hours of deliberations over the course of two days, a mistrial has been declared in the trial of Aaron Morrison.  Morrison was charged with rape, kidnapping, impersonating a police officer, and two counts of sexual abuse.  Those charges stem from two separate incidents in 2008.

The jury began deliberating on the case Wednesday morning.  Late Wednesday afternoon, they returned with a guilty verdict on one of the sexual abuse charges.  That case pertained to a woman who claimed Morrison abused her in January 2008.  The Montgomery woman says she was asleep on a friend's couch when Morrison placed his hand under her gown, rubbed her, and propositioned her for sex.

Also Wednesday, the jury returned a guilty verdict on the charge of impersonating a police officer, but they could not reach a decision on the accompanying charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual abuse.  On Thursday, they returned to deliberate.  The day turned out to be filled with numerous notes being sent to judge Clyde Jones.

One of them came after lunch when one woman stated she had been called "stupid" during deliberations and wanted the matter addressed.  Jones sternly told the jury to be considerate in discussions and sent them back to deliberate.

There were several more notes saying they were at an impasse, including one that came late Thursday afternoon.  Jurors said they were deadlocked - eleven in favor of guilt, one opposed.  In the end, the group told the court they were hopelessly deadlocked and Jones declared a mistrial.

The charges that troubled the jury stemmed from an incident that occurred in May 2008.  An Auburn woman says she was at the Iron Horse bar in Hoover when Morrison approached her, saying he was as an off duty police officer at the bar.  The woman testified that Morrison told her he could take her in for being intoxicated and offered her a ride to her brother's home.  But the woman says Morrison instead took her to one location and fondled her. She says he then took her to a second spot and raped her.

After the mistrial, one juror said the lone holdout refused to discuss her position and became confrontational when others tried to reason with her.  The man said he was very frustrated by being unable to reach a verdict and felt the trial was a waste of taxpayer dollars, as a result.

Morrison will be retried on the three charges on September 14.  He will also be sentenced on the first two charges that same day.  He remains in the Jefferson County jail on $200,000 bond.