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Hung jury in case of woman slain near Lake Maggiore

LARGO — The murder was so brutal that prosecutors compared it to Scarface and The Godfather.

Someone fired nine bursts from an AK-47 rifle into Angela Burgess, a 32-year-old woman sleeping in a car in St. Petersburg.

But who pulled the trigger?

A jury on Wednesday could not decide if it was Deangelo Q. Hutchinson, the man charged with Burgess' murder. So Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Cynthia Newton declared a mistrial, and Hutchinson will be tried again.

"I just wanted some closure and now we have to go through this again," said Burgess' close friend, Alvida Humphrey of St. Petersburg.

Prosecutors say Burgess and Hutchinson had brought some alcoholic drinks to Willie Edwards, who was fishing with a friend at Lake Maggiore in St. Petersburg, late one night in May 2008. Burgess stayed at the lake with Edwards, and Hutchinson left. Several hours later, someone came to the lake with the AK-47, killing Burgess and shooting Edwards in the leg. The shooter may have been as close as 15 to 20 feet.

Edwards got away by plunging into the lake and swimming, still hearing the AK-47 firing above the surface of the water.

Edwards at first told police he was not sure who shot him and Burgess. But later, he said it was Hutchinson. Defense attorneys pointed this out to the jury and said Hutchinson is the wrong man.

Friends and family members who have been watching the trial say Burgess was a loyal friend, although she had some scrapes with the law herself. They said it was hard to hear the testimony and see the pictures in court of her brutal murder.

"She was a loving person, she'd look out for you," said her son Deangelo Burgess, 18. "I don't see why anyone would do that."

Burgess was a single mother of four children, the youngest of whom is 7. Her friends say she was great at cooking soul food, making collard greens, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and corn bread.

After the murder, Humphrey said Burgess' 6-year-old daughter asked her, "If I pray to God, will he send my mama back?"

"How do you explain that to a 6-year-old?"

Hung jury in case of woman slain near Lake Maggiore 11/18/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:18pm]
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