By mid-afternoon Thursday, jurors in the Bourbon County lethal-force civil case knew they were never going to agree on a verdict.
Magistrate Judge James B. Todd, sitting in for U.S. District Judge Jennifer B. Coffman, then declared a second mistrial in the case, which was to decide whether Bourbon County Deputy Sheriff Ed Rodgers used excessive force when he shot a man in a dark field in 2007.
The civil case had been tried in Coffman's court in the summer. It had ended then without the jury being able to reach a verdict.
Shelby Kinkead, Rodgers' attorney, said Thursday, "We are disappointed, certainly. As, I'm sure, are the plaintiffs."
Asked if the case would return to court a third time, Kinkead said his clients would "if necessary."
John Hafner, one of three attorneys representing the estate of Robert Brewer, the man injured that day, said, "We wish justice had been served today. We look forward to it being served at the next trial."
Brewer's death was unrelated to the 2007 gunshot wounds.
Brewer's widow, Rhonda Brewer, said she was "slightly tired" but would endure another trial if necessary.
The case involved a confrontation between Rodgers and Brewer on Sept. 21, 2007, when Rodgers answered a welfare call for a person in a field off Coultard Lane. The deputy was told the man was drunk and had only one leg. Rodgers testified that Brewer repeatedly menaced him with a weapon from behind a large tree that shielded him and yelled that he was about to kill Rodgers. Brewer said in an interview that was recorded before his death that he was shot without provocation.
Medical, forensic and police procedure specialists differed in their interpretation of the evidence. Ultimately, jurors were asked to decide whether Rodgers reasonably thought it was necessary to use lethal force to protect himself when he fired his .40-caliber Glock service revolver at Robert Brewer, who was hit in the wrist and chest.
Rodgers testified that Brewer was holding something consistent with a shoulder-fired weapon when he made the threatening remarks.
No weapon was found. Brewer's prosthetic leg was later found leaning against the tree.
Brewer had been drinking all day. A University of Kentucky nurse testified that a few hours after the shooting, Brewer told that her he had pretended to have a weapon. She had also written in her notes that Brewer was distraught and wished for the officer to shoot him.
Plaintiff's attorney Ed Cooley argued that those statements were made after Brewer had been given five doses of morphine and a dose of Demerol. He was also on a complicated mix of pain medication for his amputated leg.
There were no witnesses to the shooting.