Jury deadlocks in Kershaw armed robbery case

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Judge declares mistrial in Traevis Mingo case

By Chris Sardelli

It appears prosecutors will have to prepare their case again against a Kershaw man charged with armed robbery after a jury in the case became deadlocked last month, forcing a mistrial. 

Following hours of deliberation in the case of Traevis Ahkeem Mingo, 23, the jury informed a judge on June 24 it could not reach a unanimous decision, said Sixth Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield on Wednesday, July 2.

Mingo is facing charges of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime stemming from an incident in Kershaw on Jan. 17. 

Since the case will be tried again, Barfield declined to comment on the specifics of the case. 

“The case went to trial on Monday and by Tuesday the jury began deliberating. They deliberated for about three hours and couldn’t reach a verdict,” he said. “They said they were deadlocked and that resulted in a mistrial.”

Barfield did not know when a second trial will be held. 

“What this means now is the case is still pending and it needs to be tried again,” Barfield said. “There’s not too many cases that end like this, but it happens every now and then and it’s frustrating when it does because all the effort to try the case is for nil. With a mistrial it’s as if the first trial didn’t even happen.”

The case

Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Matt Shaw said Mingo was charged and arrested in connection with the armed robbery of an individual.

“It was a situation where someone walked up to someone else walking down the street and there was an armed robbery,” Shaw said. 

According to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office incident report, deputies responded at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 17 to a home in the 200 block of Railroad Avenue in Kershaw about a report of shots fired and an armed robbery in progress.

Deputies surrounded the scene and immediately blocked off nearby roads.

A female homeowner told deputies that while her boyfriend was at the grocery store, two men knocked on her front door. 

She waited for them to leave and then went outside and noticed them walking toward her boyfriend, who was returning from the store, the report said. 

“As (she) looked down Railroad Avenue, she states that she heard a gun shot and saw the two men bending (the boyfriend) over and searching his pockets,” a deputy wrote in the report.

The woman then called 911 and reported seeing the men empty her boyfriend’s pockets and run away.

The boyfriend ran to the woman and told her “they robbed me for everything I had,” the report said. 

The man told deputies he was returning from the store when the two men stopped to talk to him. 

“Suddenly the younger male pulled out a grey semi-automatic gun and fired a bullet at his head. (The victim) states he moved his head quickly and the bullet missed him, however he could still hear a loud ringing in his ear after over 45 minutes had passed,” the report said. 

The man said he was robbed of at least $300, plus his groceries. 

Witnesses told deputies that one of the men fired his gun once in the direction of the victim, the report said. 

Based on witness statements, deputies issued a warrant on Mingo for armed robbery, the report said. He was later found on Feb. 3 and arrested. 

This is not Mingo’s first brush with the law. 

On Oct. 18, 2012, deputies arrested Mingo on a charge of second-degree burglary, according to a 2012 Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office press release. The arrest came at the conclusion of a burglary investigation that began about three months earlier. Authorities say that between July 13 and 15, 2012, Mingo broke into a home at 604-B E. Richland St. in Kershaw and stole a video game system, the release said. He was later jailed at the Lancaster County Detention Center on a $72,500 surety bond. 


Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416