The 21-year-old thriller of who killed Sherri Malarik stays a thriller for now.
At roughly 7 pm Friday, Decide John Simon declared a mistrial within the murder trial of Gregory Malarik. Malarik is a Cantonment man accused of the Sept. 21, 2001, the demise of his spouse, Sherri Malarik, who was present in a Winn Dixie car parking zone stuffed into the passenger facet floorboard of the household van.
Jurors heard almost every week of testimony in regards to the circumstances across the demise, however on Friday night introduced they may not come to an unanimous resolution after roughly 4 hours of deliberation.
Gregory Malarik was arrested in 2020, almost 20 years after his spouse’s demise.
From the trial
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First day of courtroom: Malarik kids testify in mom’s homicide trial
Bullet controversy: NCIS investigator thought bullet fragments have been examined. They weren’t.
After a four-day trial, the attorneys started closing arguments Friday morning to summarize the proof offered to the jury. Listed below are their arguments:
Prosecuting legal professional Amy Shea advised the jury that Gregory Malarik had the motive, means and alternative to kill his spouse on Sept. 21, 2001, and laid out how she believes he carried out the duty.
“He is having an affair and he needs a straightforward out,” Shea mentioned. “That is the motive.”
Jennifer Spohn and Gregory Malarik started an affair whereas Sherri was deployed to Greece by means of the US Navy. Spohn, who additionally had been the household babysitter, examined earlier within the week that through the affair Gregory advised her that killing Sherri could be simpler than a divorce.
Shea then continued with Malarik’s means to kill his spouse – the .25 caliber gun.
Throughout Sherri’s post-mortem, a .25 caliber bullet shell casing fell out of her clothes, however the gun that shell casing got here from has not been discovered.
Sherri and Gregory’s kids, Gregory “Little Greg” Malarik and Jacob Malarik, each testified that they keep in mind their father exhibiting them a “small gun” they by no means noticed once more after Sherri’s homicide.
Brian Petsel, a buddy of Gregory Malarik’s, examined they’d a dialogue with each other about .25 caliber weapons at a capturing vary whereas Sherri was deployed.
“We had mentioned a .25 caliber handgun, or not less than a small semiautomatic weapon, whereas we have been within the workplace in the future,” Petsel mentioned throughout his testimony. “Whereas we have been on the capturing vary (Gregory) talked about that they’d forgotten to purchase ammunition for the .25 (caliber).”
Shea concluded her argument by explaining Malarik’s alternative to homicide Sherri. She famous that he had his personal personal yard, together with his personal van and quick access to his spouse.
The prosecution additionally famous that Gregory gave himself believable deniability by calling a number of legislation enforcement companies, shops and relations the evening Sherri was killed and the morning following the crime.
“Thirty requires data, no requires motion,” Shea mentioned.
“The one actual chance, after you eradicate all the opposite issues is that this: the adulterous husband with the motive,” Shea advised the jury. “All of it factors to Greg Malarik.”
Gregory Malarik’s protection legal professional Chris Crawford advised the jury that Spohn may have been the killer if it have been based mostly on the three issues Shea advised the jury makes Malarik the killer, eradicating the affordable doubt required to report a conviction for a first-degree homicide.
Whereas the prosecution mentioned Malarik had the motive to kill his spouse, Crawford advised the jury that Spohn had a good larger motive to hold out the murder.
He referenced Spohn’s earlier testimony when she advised the courtroom her husband divorced her and took all their cash earlier than her affair with Malarik began.
“Right here comes alongside Greg,” Crawford defined to the jury. “Greg could be the individual she doesn’t have.
“So if we’re simply grading, we’re simply stepping again, and we’re that desk like Jennifer’s there and the State’s making an attempt the case in opposition to Jennifer, who would the state say has extra motive?” Crawford continued. “Jennifer has extra motive.”
He then argued that the prosecution’s timeline would look comparable if Spohn dedicated the crime, as a result of Spohn lived roughly three miles from the Malarik house.
Crawford additionally famous that Spohn’s testimony modified a number of occasions over a number of interviews, stating that her testimony went from “no plan” and “no homicide” to “is aware of the time to be there” at Winn Dixie and says there are baggage of garments with a ” gun she’s by no means described. “
“This cost was a premeditated homicide,” Crawford mentioned. “If Jennifer Spohn is sitting at that desk subsequent to every other protection legal professional like me… would the (prosecution) have confirmed that she may have executed the capturing simply as properly?”
If the query is something apart from no, then there may be affordable doubt Malarik didn’t kill his spouse in 2001, he argued.
Decide John Simon gave the jury directions together with the choices of discovering Malarik responsible of the lesser prices of second-degree homicide with a firearm or manslaughter with a firearm.
The jurors entered deliberation early Friday afternoon, however a mistrial was declared after they failed to succeed in an unanimous verdict.
Simon mentioned that the case will endure a brand new trial with a brand new jury. At present, the jury choice for the brand new trial is scheduled for Oct. 26, 2022.
Benjamin Johnson could be reached at email@example.com or 850-435-8578
This text initially appeared within the Pensacola Information Journal: Sherri Malarik homicide: Hung jury means Greg Malarik faces second trial