Mixed verdict in Kyle Pennington domestic abuse trial

After three days of deliberations, a jury could not reach a verdict on half the charges against a former Clovis police officer. (KFSN)
April 25, 2014 7:53:10 AM PDT
After three days of deliberations, a jury could not reach a verdict on half the charges against a former Clovis police officer.

Kyle Pennington had faced eight counts related to domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend. A jury found him guilty of two misdemeanor counts of violating a court order. But they decided he was not guilty of two more serious felony charges of false imprisonment and assault.

Kyle Pennington put his hands over his face after the verdicts were read. His attorney said he was grateful. The jury was hung on several of the most serious charges.

"Now if the prosecution wants to go forward with the rest of the charges that are pending, let them bring it," said Marshall Hodgkins, Pennington's attorney.

The jury of seven women and five men told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked on four counts. Those charges include dissuading a witness and three counts of domestic abuse.

After the decision, Pennington's ex-girlfriend issued a statement to Action News saying, "This is why women don't come forward! We are threatened to lie to the police and if we don't we are the ones punished. I feel like I've been failed again. The police failed me and now the system has failed me. I tried to stand up to him this time, hoping the law was on my side, I have been failed yet again."

The deputy district attorney declined to comment about the jury's decision. Hodgkins talked with jurors after court ended.

"The jury was very offended by the fact that her story had changed," said Hodgkins. "There were a number of jurors in the jury room that said she simply wasn't credible. Let's understand something: it is the people's burden to prove the evidence."

According to Hodgkins, his client will admit one thing, that the relationship with the alleged victim was toxic almost from the start.

Since Pennington has no other criminal past, it is unlikely he will serve any jail time but the status of his Army career may be in jeopardy. The former officer was facing as much as 10 years in prison if he was convicted on all charges. The district attorney's office has confirmed they will re-try Pennington on the four remaining counts.