Kareem Lane trial declared a mistrial, jury dismissed - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Kareem Lane trial declared a mistrial, jury dismissed

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Dr. Jim Burns Dr. Jim Burns
Burns' Broadway Home, Scene of Crime Burns' Broadway Home, Scene of Crime
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Kareem Lane could soon be a free man if a judge agrees to lower his bond. Wednesday, jurors in the 20-year-old murder case were dismissed after Judge Bobby Peters declared a mistrial when they returned with no verdict.

Lane is accused of stabbing former Muscogee County schools Superintendent Jim Burns to death in 1992. The state said DNA left on the knife gave them enough evidence to arrest Lane in 2010. However, DNA tests proved to be inconclusive in court.

More than 200 pieces of evidence and dozens of witnesses were presented to jurors over the trial's two-week period.

The jury returned to the courtroom in a deadlock state Tuesday afternoon, but the judge sent them back to deliberate further. As a result, jurors returned without a verdict.

Jurors had been in the deliberating stage for more than two days - from Monday afternoon to Wednesday evening.

The family of Jim Burns released a statement Wednesday after learning of the results via the district attorney's office:

Our family is very disappointed with the jury results. However, we want to thank the Columbus Police Department and District Attorney Julia Slater for having the courage to see that this case got its day in court. Ms. Slater's team worked diligently and professionally throughout. We want to especially thank Ms. LaRae Moore, the lead attorney, for her skilled prosecution of the case.

The majority of the jury wanted to acquit Lane, with the final count being 10 to 2.

It's now up to the district attorney's office to decide whether to indict Lane for the murder. Judge Bobby Peters says the state can take as long as they need to make the decision.

Lane's wife, Carol Lane, hopes prosecutors do not seek a new trial.

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