Mistrial declared in double-murder case of former Alorton mayor's son

News-DemocratSeptember 12, 2013 

The 911 call of a murder victim naming a shooter convinced 11 of 12 jurors that Randall McCallum Jr. should be found guilty of one count of first-degree murder.

But one juror didn't agree.

Two jurors described the deliberations that lasted for more than eight hours as frustrating and emotional with a single juror sticking on a not guilty verdict, causing a hung jury.

With the jury deadlocked, St. Clair County Chief Judge John Baricevic declared a mistrial on Wednesday night.

Randall L. McCallum Jr., 23, the son for former Alorton mayor Randall McCallum, was charged in 2009 with the shooting deaths of Kevin A. McVay and Charles D. Black, both 21 and of East St. Louis.

The two men were found lying on a Washington Park street corner. Both had been shot multiple times. The two longtime friends were found Sept. 18, 2009.

Police arrested and charged McCallum in December 2009.

Cynthia Doughty, a juror, said Thursday that she and her fellow jurors agreed "fairly quickly" that there wasn't enough evidence to convict McCallum of killing McVay.

Prosecutors played a recording of a 911 call placed by Black that identified McCallum as "the shooter." Gunshots can be heard on the tape.

"I felt terrible coming back into that courtroom without a verdict," said a male juror who asked not to be identified. "I mean, everyone else in there heard that tape."

Both Doughty and the other juror stated deliberations stalled with the holdout juror stating she could not find McCallum guilty of Black's murder.

"I don't know if she couldn't bring herself to call him guilty," the male juror said. "Or if she was scared to be on the jury that convicted him."

Both jurors said they were glad McCallum was going to face a retrial on the charges.

"Absolutely, I am glad," Doughty said. "I think most everyone on the jury was glad."

"I am truly convinced that we should have convicted him of the murder of Black," the juror said. "I wish we could have done it yesterday."

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said he will seek a retrial of McCallum.

McVay's mother, Barbara Williams, listened to days of testimony about her son's murder and now faces another trial.

"I didn't like it," Williams said of the mistrial. "After we spend all those hours up in there and to not get a verdict? We were disappointed. Very disappointed."

Though his client remains in St. Clair County Jail on $2 million bail and faces another trial, John O'Gara, who with his law partner Jim Gomric represented McCallum, said he respected the verdict.

"I very much appreciate how hard the jury had to work and how difficult this must have been for them," O'Gara said. "I respect their efforts and their decision."

Kelly's assistants also were talking to jurors Thursday.

"Convictions must be unanimous. Our democratic system give each individual juror great power and that must be respected," Kelly said.

McCallum's father, the former mayor of Alorton, pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of crack cocaine, theft of $1,000 from the village, providing a controlled substance to an inmate and lying to a federal agent. McCallum was using a jail officer to smuggle candy bars, cigarettes and a cigar filled with marijuana into the jail for his son, according to federal court documents. Last year, he was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison.

Williams will attend McCallum Jr.'s retrial, she said. And she's prepared to hear the details of her son's death again.

"It was hard this time," she said. "But we will do it again and get through it with God's help."

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at bhundsdorfer@bnd.com or 618-239-2570.

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