Circuit judge declares mistrial in 1996 attempted murder case Witness recants; suspect faces trial in 5 killings


Baltimore County Circuit Judge Christian M. Kahl called a mistrial yesterday in the attempted murder case against drifter Dana S. Whitley after the jury was unable to agree on a verdict despite seven hours of deliberation.

Whitley, 29, described by prosecutors as extremely dangerous, also was charged in July with killing five people in the city and county, some of whom were suffocated when robbed of drug money.

Mickey J. Norman, assistant state's attorney, said that during this week's trial on the attempted murder charge, a police officer testified that an eyewitness identified Whitley as the gunman in an Aug. 15, 1996, shooting at a home at the 6100 block of Marquette Road. No one was injured.

But the witness recanted her story on the witness stand, saying she could not identify Whitley as the shooter, Norman said.

Assistant State's Attorney Marsha Stephens said yesterday a new trial date has not been set.

This month, the state's attorney's office dismissed murder charges against Whitley in the 1993 homicide of a Parkville couple because a prosecutor was unable to get a witness from an out-of-state prison in time for the trial. The charges might be reinstated.

Whitley remains in the Baltimore County Detention Center. If he were released from jail after the Baltimore County cases, he would be sent to the city jail to face charges in the city slayings.

Pub Date: 6/25/98

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