ERWIN (AP) — A mistrial was declared in the trial of state theft charges against a former East Tennessee sheriff.
WJHL-TV reported jurors deliberated for about three hours Wednesday night and Thursday morning and then told the judge they were deadlocked on charges against Kent Harris, the former sheriff of Unicoi County.
Harris was being tried in Erwin on one of nine felony counts against him — theft over $1,000. Judge John Kerry Blackwood dropped a criminal simulation count against Harris.
When jurors told Blackwood they could not agree on a verdict, he asked if they could reach one by deliberating further. The foreman said the panel of six men and six women was hopelessly deadlocked.
Blackwood set Dec. 10 as the date for a new trial.
Outside the courtroom, Harris repeated what he said on the witness stand Wednesday.
“I have never taken a penny from Unicoi County,” Harris said.