The jury failed to reach a verdict on a count of first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter leveled against the elder Stafford, leading Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tammy O’Brien to declare it a mistrial. The charge can be brought forth again in the future, though prosecutors did not disclose whether that was an option they were pursuing.
Following the verdict, the Liming family's attorney Mr. Guttierez said his clients were "devastated," and "feel their son was murdered yet again."
"They've been brutally victimized by these individuals that night," he said, "and now they've been victimized again by the system."
Guttierez went on to slam those who made the trial about race, suggesting that such insinuations "victimized the family again."
"It was never a race issue," he told reporters. "Everybody picked sides in this community, both black and white picked sides. Did you hear anything about race in [the court room]? Race had nothing to do with it."
The two brothers were playing basketball at James' school when Liming and his friends pulled up and began shooting a SPLATRBALL Water Bead Blaster at them. A fight ensued, and Liming was punched unconscious. He consequently hit his head on the pavement, and passed away. The Staffords proceeded to steal Liming's crew's car and drive off.
An investigation revealed that Liming had had his chest stomped on, though the official cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Following the incident, James offered his condolences to Liming's family, however, he has been silent on the matter since then.
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