Jury deadlocks in Pittsburgh-area party bus slaying; retrial March 16 for man who claims alibi

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PITTSBURGH — A judge has declared a mistrial for a man charged in the shooting death of another man pulled off a western Pennsylvania party bus.

An Allegheny County judge declared the mistrial Tuesday after a jury couldn't reach a verdict following 16 hours of deliberations over three days in the trial of 22-year-old James Lawrence, of Pittsburgh.

Prosecutors contend Lawrence, 23-year-old Michael Lyons and others pulled the victim — 21-year-old Steven Lee Jr.— off the bus outside a Pittsburgh bar before Lawrence shot him. Lee is from nearby McKees Rocks.

But Lawrence contends he was at his girlfriend's apartment at the time, and his defense attorney contends witnesses to the contrary — including Lyons — are lying.

Prosecutors dropped the most serious charges Lyons faced in exchange for his testimony.

A March 16 retrial is scheduled.

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