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Crime & Justice

LA Metro train platform murder trial ends in mistrial

Passengers board a Metro subway train during rush hour on June 3, 2008 in Los Angeles.
Passengers board a Metro subway train during rush hour on June 3, 2008 in Los Angeles.
David McNew/Getty Images

A mistrial was declared Monday in the second-degree murder trial of a Los Angeles homeless woman who was accused of pushing an 84-year-old Little Tokyo woman off a Metro train platform to her death.

Superior Court Judge Jose I. Sandoval declared the mistrial after the jury repeatedly deadlocked 9-3 in favor of convicting Jackkqueline Pogue, according to City News Service.

On Nov. 14, 2010, Betty Sugiyama was walking with her elderly sister when Pogue, 46, pushed her off the platform and onto the tracks, authorities said. Sugiyama struck her head and never regained consciousness.

Witnesses said the attack was unprovoked.

Because the jury didn't unanimously find Pogue not guilty of murder, a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter couldn't be considered, said prosecutor Louis Avila.

Jurors said outside court that the disagreement centered on whether Pogue acted deliberately, in conscious disregard for life, and whether she fully understood the consequences of her actions, according to City News Service.

Expert witnesses for either side presented opposite conclusions.

Avila said Pogue has mental health problems but was aware of what she was doing when she pushed Sugiyama.

Pogue remains jailed on $1 million bail while awaiting retrial. Her next court date is Jan. 17.

Correction: The photo caption in an earlier version of this story misidentified the type of train pictured.