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Mistrial declared in murder case

The Supreme Court yesterday declared a mistrial in the murder case of a teen and her boyfriend accused of killing the girl’s mother.

The girl, 17, and her boyfriend Zyndall McKinney, were on trial for the murder of Anna Garrison, whose decomposed body was found in bushes off Fox Hill Road South on July 4, 2009.

Prosecutors played a videotape of the girl blaming McKinney for her mother’s death while speaking to Pennsylvania state trooper Todd Hershey. The court heard that the girl and her father came to the Pennsylvania station on July 6, 2009 and she gave a voluntary statement about her mother’s death.

This statement was made in the absence of the girl’s father, although she was a juvenile.

Murrio Ducille, who appeared for McKinney, objected to the playing of the interview. He argued that the girl’s statements about McKinney were not evidence against him and only served to prejudice the jury.

He also argued that the evidence was inadmissible because the girl was a juvenile.

Senior Supreme Court Justice Jon Isaacs accepted Ducille’s arguments and discharged the jury and remanded the pair into custody.

In the video, the girl said her mother came to the efficiency apartment she and McKinney shared on Marathon Road sometime in December 2008. She said her mother told her she wanted her to come back home. The girl said when she refused her mother swung at her, but McKinney came between them. She said McKinney and her mother started fighting and her mother pulled out a kitchen knife. She said McKinney and her mom continued to fight and her mom eventually fell to the ground.

She said McKinney told her to clean up the blood while he hid the body. She said after the incident he told her,”I love you, but if you tell anyone I’ll have to kill you.”

She said that McKinney suggested she leave the country. He told her to tell people that her mother had run off if anyone asked for her.

Ambrose Armbrister and Tony Scriven were the prosecutors. Elliot Lockhart represented the teen girl.

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