Mistrial Is Declared in Murder Case

From a Times Staff Writer

A Compton jury deadlocked Friday in the trial of one of two men charged with murdering the half sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.

A mistrial was declared after the jury announced it was deadlocked 9 to 3 for acquittal of Aaron Michael Hammer, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Hammer is due back in court Nov. 22, when the district attorney’s office will announce whether it will retry him, Gibbons said.

A separate jury will return to court Monday for further deliberations in the trial of Robert Edward Maxfield. He is accused of firing the shot that killed Yetunde Price, 31.


Price, a divorced mother of three with a home in Corona, was shot Sept. 14, 2003, outside a suspected Crips drug house in Compton.

Police say a bullet from an AK-47 struck Price. A male companion who was driving Price’s SUV was not injured.

Police said Hammer, 24, and Maxfield, 23, are both members of the Southside Crips gang.