Mistrial declared in Andrew Terry trial


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – The judge in the trial of Andrew Terry has declared a mistrial.

3-month-old Arieanna Day went missing on September 11, 2018, A day later Terry was charged with concealing a body in connection to the case.

During his 2-day trial, jurors heard from a number of witnesses, including Arianna’s mother, Jessica Day.

On Thursday, 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 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 Attorney

During the trial, the defense attorney called Day to the stand on the second day of the trial for Andrew Terry, the man accused of concealing the body of the missing 3-month-old Arieanna Day. Arieanna is believed to be the daughter of Day and Terry, though court testimony revealed that the paternity of Terry was never definitively established.

Defense attorney, Angi Simpkins, questioned Day about conflicting statements she made during the investigation and about her changing stories. As recently as last month, Day gave a signed statement to a Roanoke City Police detective in which Day said that on September 11, 2018, the night that Arieanna was reported missing, she and the baby girl fell asleep. Day said in that written statement, which was read aloud in the courtroom, that she awoke to find that Arieanna was not breathing. She then attempted to resuscitate her.

But that story conflicted with many other accounts that Day gave. At some point this year, Day admitted to calling Simpkins, who represents Terry, and telling her that Arieanna was alive and well. She also told another individual that she believed an adoption agency she had met with while still pregnant with Arieanna had taken her on the night of September 11th. On another occasion, Day said she sold Arieanna.

On her cross-examination, Montgomery County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Cristina Agee asked Day what her story is today. Day testified that on September 11th, Terry came to her house and she gave the baby girl to him. Day testified that Arieanna was unharmed when she gave her to Terry. Day also said that any prior statements she had made were untrue.

About an hour after the jury began deliberations, they returned with a question for the judge. They asked whether Terry’s car had been searched by K-9 dogs and if so, when? The judge responded by saying he was unable to answer that question and referred the jurors to their own independent recollection of the evidence. The jurors then exited the courtroom to resume deliberations.

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