A Lincoln County judge declared a mistrial in the case of a white Brookhaven father and son accused of chasing and shooting at a Black FedEx driver last year.
The ruling came Thursday during the third day of the trial of Brandon Case and his father Gregory Charles Case, who were charged with attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy and shooting into a delivery van that D’Monterrio Gibson drove as he delivered packages Jan. 24, 2022.
Judge David Strong ended yesterday’s court session early because Brookhaven Police Detective Vincent Fernando said under oath, while the jury wasn’t in the courtroom, that he hadn’t previously given the prosecuting and defense attorneys a video statement police took from Gibson after his encounter with the Cases, AP reported.
“In 17 years, I don’t think I’ve seen it,” Strong said Thursday about the errors.
As of late Thursday morning, Strong had not issued that ruling in writing.
Attorney Carlos Moore, who represented Gibson, said it was concerning that the police withheld a potentially crucial piece of information, which necessitated a mistrial.
“I share the deep disappointment and frustration expressed by Circuit Judge David Strong over this development,” Moore said in a Thursday statement. “A mistrial represents not just an administrative setback but also a delay in justice for Mr. Gibson and his family.”
He has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the Brookhaven police’s conduct as potential obstruction of justice.
During opening statements Tuesday, District Attorney Dee Bates told jurors Gibson was driving a rental van with the Hertz logo on three sides when he dropped off a package at a home on a dead-end road.
That was when Gregory Case drove a pickup to try and block Gibson from leaving, and his son came outside with a gun, Bates said. Three rounds hit the van as Gibson drove around the pickup.
The elder Case’s attorney told jurors he saw a van outside his unoccupied mother-in-law’s house and went to see what was happening. He wanted to ask the van driver what was happening, but the driver didn’t stop. The sun had set and Case thought someone was in the wrong place, the attorney said.
Gibson, who was 24 at the time of the incident, was not injured in the shooting.
Moore, who also represented Gibson in a federal lawsuit, has compared what happened to his client to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was chased by three white men and shot while exercising in 2020.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan on Aug. 10 approved motions to dismiss the $5 million lawsuit against FedEx, the city of Brookhaven, its police chief and the Cases last week. He said Moore failed to prove the company discriminated against Gibson based on race, according to court records.
AP reported that Moore said he plans to sue in state court. The attorney added that Gibson is still a FedEx employee and is currently out on workers’ compensation leave.
“We remain committed to seeking justice for D’Monterrio Gibson and ensuring that the legal process is fair, transparent, and accountable,” Moore said in the Thursday statement.