Jury hung in trial for baby’s death

Published 8:53 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A trial over the death of a 5-month-old child ended earlier this month with a hung jury.

Patrick Compton, 29, stood accused of murder and aggravated child abuse, but after deliberation, the 12-person jury couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict, according to information provided by District Attorney Randall Houston.

“It’s sad when the jury can’t reach a verdict, and we have to ask 12 more people to hear the evidence,” Houston said. “Hopefully, we’ll learn from the trial and do a better job presenting the evidence next time.

“I hate it for the victims. It’s very difficult for everybody involved.”

Ali Garrett and Walter Hayden, who were representing the defendant, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The incident that led to the child’s death occurred on Dec. 15, 2009 at Compton’s residence on County Road 969 in Jemison.

The child belonged to Compton’s girlfriend, Johnna Phillips.

The trial was presented Oct. 1-3, the jury deliberated and Judge Sibley Reynolds declared a mistrial on Oct. 5 when the jury returned a split verdict.

Prosecutors called to testify: a doctor from the department of forensic sciences, two other physicians, law enforcement, Phillips and Chilton County Coroner Randy Yeargan.

Next in the case, Reynolds will set a date for a new hearing.