Mistrial declared in Colorado Springs slaying
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado ” A former Army soldier accused of killing a college student he believed was a drug informant will face a second trial after a mistrial was declared when a jury failed to reach a verdict in his first proceeding.
Ryan Krueger, 31, remained in custody without bond Friday pending a second trial set Aug. 5 on a first-degree murder charge.
Krueger was one of three men charged in the slaying of Patricia Ann Elliott, 19, whose body was found April 11, 2001, in the bathtub of her north Colorado Springs townhome. The one-time University of Colorado-Colorado Springs student had been hit with a barbell and strangled, police said.
Prosecutors alleged Elliott had been dealing drugs she obtained from Krueger when he decided she was an informant and enlisted the help of Benjamin D. Gunvalsen, 27, and Christopher Allen, 29, to kill her. All three were arrested in 2006.
Gunvalsen, who pleaded guilty to accessory, testified during the trial that Krueger was the leader of the group.
Representing himself, Krueger cross-examined Gunvalsen for almost 10 hours, pointing out differences between what he told police and testimony he gave during Allen’s trial earlier this year.
Krueger told jurors Gunvalsen did it and lied to prosecutors to cut a deal with a short prison term.
The jurors deliberated for nearly 20 hours before advising the judge Friday they were deadlocked.
Connie and David Elliott, Patricia’s parents, declined to say much after court because they didn’t want to sway future juror prospects. “We prefer this to an acquittal,” Connie Elliott said.
Allen, 29, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Gunvalsen was sentenced to four years in prison.
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