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Judge Declares Mistrial on All Counts Against Ring

Updated: 4:33 p.m.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle officially declared a mistrial Thursday afternoon in the public corruption trial of former House-aide-turned-lobbyist Kevin Ring after jurors declared themselves deadlocked for the third time in as many days.

“The court at this point has no choice but to declare a mistrial,— Huvelle said. Federal prosecutors and Ring’s attorneys both endorsed the action.

Earlier in the day Huvelle read a note from the jury saying, “We remain … irrevocably blocked on a final unanimous verdict.—

Although jurors on Tuesday indicated they had reached agreement on one of the eight charges facing Ring — a charge of “honest services wire fraud— based on a payment of $5,000 to Julie Doolittle, the wife of then-Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) — on Thursday they informed the judge they no longer had agreement on that count.

Huvelle asked jurors to reconsider that count, but late Thursday afternoon the jury announced they could not reach agreement on that count either. “We again remain totally blocked on a unanimous verdict,— the jury wrote in a second note that Huvelle read in open court Thursday afternoon.

Ring could potentially face a retrial on the same charges. Huvelle has scheduled a status conference for Monday morning to discuss next steps in the case.

Ring has been on trial for his role working with imprisoned ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ring was accused of providing tickets to sporting events and other gifts to Congressional staff in exchange for assistance for Abramoff’s clients. 

Ring declined to comment on the outcome as he left the courtroom.