MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — The trial of a man accused of beating a woman into a coma in a fight over an East Village parking space was scrapped Monday after jurors failed to reach a verdict.
Oscar Fuller, 34, had been charged with second-degree felony assault after allegedly punching 25-year-old Lana Rosas in the face and sending her into a week-long coma during a February dispute over who had the right to a parking space on East 14th Street.
After nearly four days of deliberations, jurors said they had voted 11 to one to convict Fuller, but that the single holdout juror could not be swayed because they believed there was not enough proof Fuller intended to seriously hurt Rosas, as was required to convict him under the assault charge.
Prosecutors said they will be back in court Jan. 5 to discuss a second trial date. Fuller still faces up to seven years in prison if convicted at his next trial.
"The majority of us believe there is no benefit to continuing deliberations," read a note from the jury which was sent to Manhattan Supreme Court justice Lewis Bart Stone at noon.
"At this point, I'm declaring this a mistrial," the judge said after their second deadlock note. The first came on Thursday when they were told to return after a long weekend to continue their discussions.
Prosecutors plan to retry the case and indicated they were ready to proceed with a new trial immediately, but the judge set a new date for Jan. 5.
During the incident, Rosas had been standing in the East Village parking spot to hold it for a friend when Fuller pulled up to the space with his car.
After arguing over the space, Fuller allegedly punched Rosas in the face, knocking her to the ground where she hit her head on the pavement.
The victim still wears a protective helmet because a part of her skull was removed to make room for her swollen brain as a result of her injuries. She did not testify during trial, and was not in court to hear the mistrial declared. Her mother and attorney, David Oddo, declined comment.
Fuller's attorney Thomas Kenniff said Monday, "We take some comfort that, at the end of the day, the jury was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Fuller was guilty of this charge." His client declined to comment.