After almost a seven hour deliberation Saturday in Clay County Circuit Court, 23-year-old Rashawn Ivy was found not guilty of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend Whitney Lenoir, but the jury was hung as to the charge alleging that Ivy tried to kill Lenoir.
Count one of Ivy's indictment, domestic violence/aggravated assault, will have to be tried once again because the jury could not come to an unanimous agreement to find him guilty or not guilty nor could they totally agree on whether or not he was guilty to the lesser charge of domestic violence/simple assault. 16th Circuit Judge Lee Coleman gave the jury the option of finding Ivy guilty or not guilty of domestic violence/simple assault if they could not find him guilty of domestic violence/aggravated assault.
According to court documentation, seven jury members voted to find Ivy not guilty of shooting Lenoir in the early morning hours of Sept. 4, 2010, four jury members felt that he was guilty and one jury member was undecided. But after the jury's deliberation of the misdemeanor charge of domestic violence/simple assault, nine jury members voted that Ivy was guilty, and three voted that he was not guilty of domestic violence/simple assault.
No date has yet been set as to when Ivy's domestic violence/aggravated assault count will be reheard.
The kidnapping charge arose after Lenoir reportedly told Ivy to take her to the Clay County Medical Center but instead he headed north in route to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, according to arguments by Mark Jackson, Assistant District Attorney for the 16th Circuit Court District. Jackson argued that once Ivy and Lenoir left the scene of the shooting incident near Moon Heard Road, Ivy drove Lenoir five miles north before finally consenting to her demands for him to hand over the keys to the vehicle so that she could drive herself to the hospital. Ivy testified Thursday that Lenoir wanted to go to the Tupelo hospital because she didn't want her mother to know she had been out with Ivy earlier that night in Una. The jury could not find proof that Ivy held Lenoir against her will, thus dismissing the kidnapping charge.
Now a brand new jury will have to decide whether or not Ivy intentionally shot Lenoir in an attempt to kill her. The shooting left Lenoir with two head wounds, one of which caused blindness in her right eye, and a thumb injury. Lenoir alleges that Ivy tried to kill her over his anger, which she said arose from her telling him that she no longer wanted to be in a dating relationship with him. She believed that Ivy, his current girlfriend and his girlfriend's mother conspired to kill her. The question of who brought the gun to the scene that morning could not be answered during the trial last week with solid evidence, as Ivy and Lenoir were the only two in the vehicle where the shooting incident took place. Ivy's neighbor, Michael Heard, charged with being an accessory to Ivy's alleged shooting crime, testified that he had been with Ivy several hours before the incident happened and had not seen Ivy with a gun.