Judge Declares Mistrial in 2002 Slaying of Two Deputies

Prince George's County police poster from 2002 shows James R. Logan, who authorities say shot and killed two sheriff's deputies.
Prince George's County police poster from 2002 shows James R. Logan, who authorities say shot and killed two sheriff's deputies. (Matt Houston - AP)
By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Prince George's County judge yesterday declared a mistrial after a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the retrial of a man accused of murdering two county sheriff's deputies nearly five years ago.

After deliberating for about 10 hours over two days, jurors declared themselves deadlocked over whether James R. Logan, 28, was guilty of murdering Deputies Elizabeth L. Magruder and James V. Arnaud.

Circuit Court Judge E. Allen Shepherd declared a mistrial about 5 p.m.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two charges of second-degree murder. At the end of Logan's first trial, in November 2003, the jury acquitted Logan of two counts of first-degree murder but convicted him of two counts of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 100 years in prison.

Those convictions were overturned by the Maryland Court of Appeals, which ruled that Shepherd, who presided over the first trial, should not have allowed the state to use a videotaped statement Logan made to detectives. Logan had not been properly advised of his Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent, the appellate court found.

As he did during the first trial, Logan's attorney, Fred Warren Bennett, argued that Logan was not criminally responsible for the shootings because of severe mental health problems. If the jury had found Logan not criminally responsible, he would have been sent to a mental health facility for treatment for an unspecified period of time.

State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said prosecutors would retry Logan.

"We're disappointed, but we'll keep moving forward until there's justice in this case," Ivey said.

The killings occurred Aug. 29, 2002.

On the morning of the shootings, Logan's wife and mother had obtained an order from a District Court judge mandating a psychiatric evaluation for Logan. A judge signed an order for sheriff's deputies to pick up Logan.

About 9 that night, Magruder and Arnaud went to the Adelphi home where Logan was staying with his parents. The deputies intended to take Logan into custody for the psychiatric evaluation.

While Magruder and Arnaud waited outside Logan's bedroom, Logan retrieved a 9mm handgun. He came out of his room firing; Magruder was hit in the head, and Arnaud was struck by six rounds, prosecutors said.

Logan fled and was arrested two days later.

During closing arguments Thursday, Bennett never disputed that Logan shot the deputies. Bennett said the issue was not Logan's intent, but his state of mind on the night of the shootings.

Bennett said Logan exhibited "paranoia, bizarre thinking, hallucinations and delusions" just before he shot Magruder and Arnaud.

In her closing argument, Deputy State's Attorney Laura J. Gwinn said Logan's actions were fueled by drug abuse, not mental illness. Gwinn said Logan smoked a large quantity of marijuana and snorted four three-inch lines of cocaine the day of the shootings.

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