Prosecutors Plan New Trial For Ridenour After Today's Mistrial

Prosecutors say they plan to retry a former police officer who is accused of shooting his fiancee and then setting her body on fire.

After four days of deliberations and no verdict, Friday afternoon the judge declared a mistrial in the murder trial of Arthur Ridenour.

Ridenour was on trial for the 2009 murder of Teresea Foster.

An attorney for Ridenour told jurors in closing arguments that Teresea Foster killed herself, but prosecutors felt there was enough evidence to convict him of first degree murder.

Jurors deliberated over four days after a month of testimony. Around 2:30 p.m. Friday they told the judge they were deadlocked 9-3.

Lawyers from both sides tell WITN News they did not ask jurors which way they were leaning during deliberations.

"I wouldn't consider it a victory, nor is it a defeat." said Ridenour's attorney, Jon Nuckolls. "I mean obviously there were jurors there who thought Arty was not guilty. So we're going to hold on to that and move forward with it."


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A Pitt County jury told the judge again that they were deadlocked in the murder trial of a former police officer who is accused of shooting and then setting on fire his fiancee.

The jury in the trial for Arthur Ridenor is now in its fourth day of deliberations.

An attorney for Ridenour told jurors in closing arguments that Teresea Foster killed herself, but prosecutors say there's enough evidence to convict him of first degree murder.

On Wednesday evening jurors said they were deadlocked, but Judge J.C. Cole told them to continue deliberating.

Just before noon today, jurors told the judge they were still deadlocked. Judge Cole thanked them for their hard work and sent them back in the jury room for 30 minutes. The judge then brought jurors back in and gave them an hour lunch break.

Testimony in the trial took a month to complete before closing arguments on Monday and Tuesday.

The jurors began their deliberations Friday morning around 10:15 a.m.


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Jurors will continue to deliberate Friday whether a former police officer shot and then set on fire his fiancee nearly three years ago in Pitt County.

An attorney for Arthur Ridenour told jurors earlier this week that Teresea Foster killed herself, but prosecutors say there's enough evidence to convict him of first degree murder.

Jurors have now been deliberating for three days, telling the judge Wednesday evening they were deadlocked.

Thursday morning they asked the judge to view more evidence, including an autopsy photos and emails that were entered into evidence.

The jury wrapped for the day about 6:00 p.m. Thursday and will resume deliberations Friday morning.


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Jurors late this afternoon told a judge they are deadlocked in the murder case of a former police officer accused of killing his girlfriend.

Jurors have deliberated for two days in the trial of Arthur Ridenour. He is accused of killing Teresea Foster on August 22, 2009 at his Stokes home. The woman was shot and her body burned.

Just before 5:00 p.m. jurors sent the judge a note. "We are deadlocked and not able to reach a verdict. How do we proceed?"

The judge decided to send the 12 men and women home for the night and to return at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Superior Judge J.C. Cole told jurors to come back Thursday with an open mind and "we'll give it another try."

Ridenour's lawyer told jurors the woman committed suicide. But prosecutors say the evidence shows Ridenour shot the woman and then set her body on fire.


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Jurors are still deliberating the case of a former police officer who is accused of shooting and then setting on fire his fiancee on their wedding day in Pitt County.

They got the case Tuesday.

About 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, the jury returned to the courtroom to look at evidence and to request the autopsy results.

The jury also wanted to get past testimony, but that request could not be fulfilled since it would have to be transcribed, according to the judge.

He told the jury members to remember the testimony to the best of their recollection.

We will continue to bring you updates as deliberations progress.

The trial began more than a month ago in a Pitt County courtroom.

The jury got the murder case against Arthur Ridenour shortly after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and were dismissed for the day just before 5:00 p.m. Jurors sent a note to the judge asking to view pictures of scene and firearm used, along with autopsy and SBI reports.

A lawyer for Ridenour wrapped up his closing argument to jurors around 12:15 p.m. saying that Teresea Foster killed herself. The woman was found dead back on August 22, 2009 at his Stokes home.

Defense attorney Jon Nuckolls started his argument with one word: undetermined. Nuckolls says on the witness stand the medical examiner testified the manner of Foster's death should have been undetermined, not homicide. The attorney also reminded jurors about evidence not collected by deputies on the day of the death, evidence he says could have determined, without a doubt, if the woman was murdered or committed suicide.

Monday, Assistant District Attorney Tonya Montanye said Ridenour killed the woman and then made it look like she took her own life. She said Foster was left handed, but the gun was found in the woman's right hand.

Montanye also told jurors that the pattern of the gasoline on her body was poured on after the she was lying down and there was no soot in her lungs to indicate Foster set herself on fire first before the shooting.

If convicted, the 57-year-old Ridenour could face life in prison.


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It was an emotional start to closing arguments today in the Arthur Ridenour murder case, a trial that's taken in a month of testimony.

Assistant District Attorney Tonya Montayne told jurors that Teresea Foster did not kill herself, like Ridenour alleged in this case. Her voice broke when she said Foster had her children and her family to live for. One member of the victim's family broke down in tears as pictures of Foster's autopsy was shown to the jury.

Montayne says evidence in the case show the gun was in the wrong hand, that the pattern of the gasoline on her body was poured on after the she was lying down and there was no soot in her lungs to indicate Foster set herself on fire first before the shooting. The defense has not begun their closing arguments.

Foster was found dead August 22, 2009 in Ridenour's home in Stokes. That same day the two planned to get married and her family had arrived for the wedding.


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Closing arguments are underway in the Arthur Ridenour murder trial in Pitt County.

The trial for the man accused of killing his girlfriend and setting her on fire has stretched on for more than a month. Ridenour, 57, is accused of killing Teresa Foster at their home in the Pitt County town of Stokes in 2009.

Closing arguments began around 10:20 a.m. We will keep you posted as the jury begins to deliberate.


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