Judge declares mistrial in ‘road rage’ shooting trial
The fate of Dwyndell Perrault is resting with the jury after two days of testimony concluded around 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9.
Perrault was charged with the August 2010 shooting of 12-year-old Ivan Perez, who was a passenger of a vehicle Perrault shot at in what police described as a case of extreme road rage.
The 12-member jury was selected Monday, and prosecution called a number of witnesses Tuesday and Wednesday. Prosecution showed jurors what was reported the night of Aug. 10.
Ingrid Perez, Ivan’s older sister, was a fellow passenger in the vehicle, riding alongside her brother in the backseat of the Nissan.
The events that took place as described by Gaston Jimenez, the driver; Gustavo Diaz, the front seat passenger; and Perez, left them all traumatized.
Perez said that night, they had pulled up to a car stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of Corley and Avenue D. They waited behind the car for a moment and honked the horn. When the car still did not move after a few minutes, Jimenez attempted to pass the vehicle blocking their way on the right.
She said she remembered seeing a man in the driver’s seat, woman in the passenger seat and two children in the back, one of whom was in a car seat. As they drove by the man got out of the car and yelled at them, then fired a gun.
The bullets went through the back windshield and one struck her younger brother in the head.
During her testimony, she said she remembered ducking down, and reaching for Ivan to pull him down, only to discover that he had been struck by one of the bullets.
“I told him not to close his eyes,” she testified with the help of a translator. “It felt like he was dying; in agonizing pain.”
Ivan did not die during the incident and spent a month-and-a-half recovering at a Houston hospital. And though he is physically okay, he is not emotionally himself anymore, according to Perez.
Phillip Grant, a friend of Perrault, was called to testify for the prosecution Wednesday. According to his testimony, Grant said he went with Perrault to a store and on the way there Perrault said he had gotten into an argument with “some Mexicans” earlier that evening. Perrault told Grant to watch the news that evening to see if anything had happened.
Prosecution rested around 2 p.m. Wednesday, and the defense called no witnesses. The jury was dismissed after about three hours of deliberation and resumed deliberation Thursday morning.
Judge John Stevens declared a mistrial after the jury could not come to a unanimous decision. Eleven of the twelve jurors were in favor of a guilty verdict but a lone juror held out for an acquittal. Just before 5 p.m. Judge Stevens announced the deadlock and declared the mistrial.