Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mistrial declared in murder trial of Ronnie Betts

A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday night after six hours of deliberation produced a deadlocked jury in the murder trial of Ronnie Betts.

Betts' was charged with murder in the March 2011 home invasion shooting of 27-year-old Ebony Stewart. Prosecutors Tuesday told jurors Stewart was killed to pay off a debt, according to reports. Betts, 24, would have faced the death penalty if convicted.

A witness for the defense said Betts didn't shoot Stewart and two others during the robbery. Two other witnesses said they saw Betts shoot Stewart in the chest nearly three years ago when she opened the door of her home on19th Street S in St. Petersburg.

Prosecutors say they will retry the case, and a judge will decide this morning when the process will begin again.

Mistrial declared in murder trial of Ronnie Betts 02/26/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 3:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Nurse backs Kriseman in St. Pete mayor's race


    Council member Karl Nurse has endorsed Mayor Rick Kriseman.

  2. Spring Hill woman, 24, dies when car hits tree in Pasco County


    LAND O' LAKES — A 24-year-old woman died early Saturday morning after her Hyundai Elantra hit a tree, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Florida Insiders: We'll find out soon whether Adam Putnam has a glass jaw


    This month's Florida Insider Poll questions: Who would be the strongest Democratic/Republican nominee for governor? Whom do you expect will win the Democratic/Republican gubernatorial nomination? Which party …

    Florida Insider polls are unscientific surveys of Florida political operatives, money-raisers, lobbyists, political scientists, recovering journalists, activists, and the like
  4. Before Janessa Shannon's death, parents traded accusations of abuse


    TAMPA — Long before Janessa Shannon's remains were discovered in a Hillsborough County nature preserve, her parents tried to convince court officials that she was in danger.

    From her own family.

    Janessa Shannon, 13, was found dead July 12 in the Triple Creek Nature Preserve in Hillsborough County. [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]