MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Andrew Terry, accused of hiding the body of three-month-old Arieanna Day, will be retried after a mistrial earlier this year.
Terry is accused of concealing her body after she went missing in September 2018. Day was believed to be his daughter. Back in September, the jury could not reach a unanimous decision and the judge declared a mistrial.
In a Wednesday hearing in Montgomery County, prosecutors requested a retrial scheduled for either April 1 or 2.
WFXR did some digging and learned that because of updated cellular forensic technology, the Roanoke City Police got a new search warrant after Terry’s mistrial back in September to get new information from his phone.
“Perhaps new forensic evidence has been found. And if that forensic evidence is strong, perhaps the prosecutor will say, let’s go ahead with a new trial,” said criminal justice expert Dr. Tod Burke.
WFXR uncovered that information just a month before today’s announcement.
Day went missing on September 11, 2018. A day later, Terry was charged with concealing a body in connection to the case.
When asked where baby Arieanna Day was during one of his hearings back in May, Andrew Terry replied.
“Ask her mother.”
Originally, the child’s mother, Jessica Day said she gave the baby to Terry, the night she went missing. But she has since changed her story multiple times. She told WFXR in an exclusive interview she only said that because she was upset with Terry at the time.
“I basically wanted to get him in trouble. That’s why I said that,” said Day.
During his 2-day trial, jurors heard from a number of witnesses, including Arianna’s mother, Jessica Day.
On the second day of the trial, the jury went into deliberation around 3 p.m. and came back just before 6 p.m. at a deadlock. The judge read them an Allen charge, or instructions to encourage the jury to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. But about 15 minutes late the jury was still hung and a mistrial was declared.
Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt gave the following statement afterward.
It was important to pursue justice for Arieanna particularly when there was a confession to the crime. I know Roanoke City will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death. We will evaluate the case and determine if we will retry the defendant.MARY PETTITT, MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY
“If someone confesses to a crime and there just wasn’t enough physical evidence or forensic evidence that’s available, then I could see where the jury would be a little bit confused. But now that you have additional information, it can all come out in a new trial,” said Dr. Burke.
Dr. Burke says some may be asking how this re-trial doesn’t violate double jeopardy, where a person can’t be tried for the same crime twice. But since the first trial was a mistrial and no verdict was reached, the prosecutors are able to try again.
- Pinpoint Weather: Fall feel to the last weekend of the summer
- Can a Supreme Court vacancy be filled during election year?
- Poll workers in Floyd see large early voter turnout
- Biden reacts to death of Justice Ginsburg, rejects quick vote on her successor
- CDC issues Halloween 2020 guidelines, color-coded COVID-19 risk map