For Immediate Release
February 13, 2014
Janice K. Rundles, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Attorney General Joseph A. Foster announces that a decision has been made regarding the potential retrial of David McLeod.
In 2010, David McLeod was indicted on four counts of reckless second-degree murder for causing the deaths of the Hina family in Keene in 1989 by starting a fire in the building where the Hinas, and others lived. Subsequently, after much pre-trial litigation, including an appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the case went to trial in the Cheshire County Superior Court in December 2013. The jury could not reach a unanimous decision as to the defendant's guilt and a mistrial was declared. A second trial was scheduled to begin in April 2014.
Since the mistrial, the State has undertaken an extensive review of the events that occurred at trial, including the witness testimony, the trial court's rulings, and has spoken to the jurors who heard the case. After considering all those factors, especially the trial court's rulings and the information obtained from the jurors, it became clear to the State that a different outcome after a second trial was highly unlikely.
Therefore, after a thorough review, the decision has been made to forego the April 2014 retrial and avoid a double jeopardy issue, and thereby preserve the State's ability to retry the defendant in the future should additional evidentiary and legal avenues develop.
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