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Mistrial Called After Escape Attempt

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A harried and violent escape attempt by two men accused of torturing and murdering a Hunter College student in East Flatbush has led to a mistrial, court officials announced Monday. Officials from the Kings County District Attorney’s office said that trial proceedings will resume against Kayson Pearson, 23, and Troy Hendrix, 22, in the near future. A tentative date has been set for February 5, a spokesperson from the Kings County District Attorney’s office said last week. As in last week’s trial, both suspects, reputed Blood members who allegedly raped, sodomized and tortured 21-year-old Romona Moore before smashing her head in with a hammer, will be tried separately but at the same time in different courtrooms. The two suspects sent jurors and court watchers scrambling for cover when they pulled out homemade “shanks” and began charging their way out the door. Witnesses told reporters that during one of the few moments when they were together, the suspects winked at each, pulled out their weapons from their underwear and jumped court officers for their guns. Pearson stabbed his attorney, Mitchell Dinnerstein, under the chin as the lawyer wrestled his own client to the ground. Court officers did the rest, tackling and subduing Pearson and Hendrix with pepper spray. On Monday morning, presiding Judge Albert Tomei dismissed the jury, claiming that they had been “tainted by what they saw” and could not be able to render a fair verdict. Both men were taken to a local hospital for observation. Dinnerstein was taken to Long Island College Hospital, where he received stitches. At least seven court officers were injured in the melee, according to published reports. As of press time, both Blood members were charged with assault, attempted escape and criminal possession of a weapon. Those charges will be on top of the rape and murder charges they will again face in February. The two men were on trial for the 2003 murder of Moore and the abduction and rape of another woman. During her opening statements to the jury, Assistant District Attorney Anna Sigga Nicolazzi said that what the suspects did to Moore was “one of the most brutal things you will ever hear about.” The two men are charged with grabbing Moore off the street and bringing her to Hendrix’s basement apartment on Snyder Avenue, where they beat, tortured, raped and sodomized her repeatedly. Prosecutors said that when they were finished, they turned to their battered and bloody victim, asking her, “How to you want to die?” They then opted to kill her with a hammer. According to published reports, Moore was found two weeks later around the block from where the killing took place. The victim was so badly disfigured that she had to be identified by dental records, officials said. Cops did find three small burns – known as Blood burns – that told them that Moore was killed by members of the notorious street gang. If convicted, both Pearson and Hendrix will be facing life in prison. As of press time it was unclear if Dinnerstein was going to continue to represent Pearson.

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