EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The murder trial of a 31-year-old man was declared a mistrial due to a misconduct of a jury member Thursday, Aug. 10 in Las Cruces, according to the Third Judicial District Attorney.
Jimmy Levi Rogers, 31, of Las Cruces, was on trial for the murder of Ezekiel Diaz when a district court judge declared a mistrial because of a jury member’s misconduct described as a “Manifest Necessity.”
Manifest Necessity is a circumstance (as an incurable pleading defect, the unavailability of an essential witness, juror misconduct, or illness of counsel) which is of such an overwhelming and unforeseeable nature that the conduct of trial or reaching of a fair result is impossible and which necessitates the declaration of a mistrial, according to a press release sent by the Third Judicial District Attorney.
Rogers is facing charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with evidence.
The state will retry the case at a later date. Rogers will remain in custody.
The Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the intersection of Lohman and Walnut in reference to a gunshot victim.
Responding officers found Diaz with a gunshot wound and an expanded 9mm caliber shell casing next to him, according to the press release.
Lifesaving efforts by bystanders, LCPD and Emergency Medical Services were applied but Diaz died from his injuries at the scene.
Witnesses were able to identify the suspect’s vehicle from which the shots were fired and gave a description of the person inside.
In the investigation, surveillance footage showed Diaz’s vehicle stop at the light and Rogers’ vehicle was seen driving in the opposite direction making a U-turn and pulling up alongside Diaz’s vehicle.
The video showed the shooting at Diaz vehicle, with Diaz exiting his vehicle, falling to the ground and Rogers driving off.
Rogers’ vehicle was a silver/gray four door car with distinct black spray paint on various parts and a clear identifying license plate number.
In addition, GPS data was also used to confirm the location of each individual charged in this murder.