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Judge declares mistrial after jury hits standstill

Profile image for By Megan Gray / Staff Writer
By Megan Gray / Staff Writer

A district judge hearing a capital murder case declared a mistrial this week after a jury could not reach a verdict.

Markell Oneil Hardy, 27, was standing trial in the death of Trevor Kronbach.

Kronbach, 21, was shot in the head inside a Lewisville apartment in the 1900 block of Lakeview Circle on Dec. 21, 2011, according to court records.

The trial began April 15 and lasted until about 10 p.m. Monday, when Judge Steve Burgess declared the jury was at a standstill.

During testimony Friday afternoon, Lewisville police Detective Bill Wawro played interview tapes before the jury — tapes police say they believe showed Hardy’s participation in Kronbach’s murder.

Hardy’s attorneys Derek Adame and Tricia Perry repeatedly questioned whether Hardy was the man who pulled the trigger.

Wawro said a considerable amount of evidence linked Hardy to the murder.

“Evidence from his friend, his connection [to Kronbach] and starting the phone call ... ” Wawro said during cross examination Friday.

Lewisville police say they believe Hardy was a friend of Kronbach’s for 15 years and the last person to see him alive.

According to Hardy’s arrest affidavit, Wawro found Kronbach’s cellphone near his body that evening. After reviewing the phone records, it showed his last call to be from Hardy at about midnight. The timing, records show, coincides with witness interviews about the time Hardy was alleged to have come over to visit Kronbach.

Medical examiner records show Kronbach died in his home from a gunshot wound to the head. His death was ruled a homicide.

Police said several weapons were stolen from Kronbach’s apartment that evening.

“We think our client was guilty of robbery, not murder,” Adame said during an interview Tuesday afternoon.

Hardy was the first of three people to go on trial who are charged with capital murder in connection with Kronbach’s death.

Adame said that because of the same evidence being used for all the co-defendants, the jurors were probably more than confused.

“The murder weapon wasn’t found,” Adame said.

Prosecutors Karen Anders and Michael Dickens presented numerous witnesses who testified to evidence they believe links Hardy to Kronbach’s death.

The hole from the gunshot, according to police records, was on the back of Kronbach’s head.

“The gunshot appears intentional,” Wawro said.

Jamie Beck, the first assistant criminal district attorney, said prosecutors were disappointed the trial did not reach its conclusion, but they will prepare the case to present it again.

“We will be ready to present the case to a new jury when the time comes,” Beck said.

Adame said he respects the court’s decision and the jury’s time. He is already looking ahead and preparing for Hardy’s new trial.

The new trial will remain in 158th District Court but isn’t expected to happen soon, Beck said.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.