The DUI case stemming from a controversial police traffic stop in Santa Barbara resulted in a hung jury Tuesday in Santa Maria Superior Court.
Tony Denunzio had pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license and other charges related to prior DUI convictions. Judge James Rigali threw out the charge of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher last week, leaving the jury to decide only the DUI charge.
The jury was reportedly deadlocked even Monday, its first day of deliberations.
According to defense attorney Darryl Genis, the jurors asked the judge around 3 p.m. how long they had to deliberate before they could declare deadlock. He said they needed to discuss the case for at least one full day, so they continued deliberations Tuesday.
Jurors were hung 8-5 in favor of guilt, Deputy District Attorney Mai Trieu said, adding that a hearing is scheduled for Thursday to discuss related issues, including whether there will be a retrial.
Denunzio is also facing a bench trial — with Rigali presiding — for the remaining charge of driving with a suspended license, which will also continue Thursday, Trieu said.
Denunzio was pulled over in October 2011 by Santa Barbara police Officer Aaron Tudor on suspicion of DUI after allegedly changing lanes without signaling on Las Positas. He has been spotted earlier leaving Arroyo Burro Beach, where he had a cocktail at the Boathouse Restaurant.
Statements released by the police said Tudor couldn’t get Denunzio to get on the ground and put his arms behind his back to be handcuffed and was resisting arrest, so the contact escalated from a hand on the arm to a trip, hand and knee strikes, and using a Taser multiple times.
Some of the confrontation was captured by a dashboard video camera in Tudor’s patrol car.
Tudor and police officials say Denunzio was resisting arrest, while Denunzio and a number of eyewitnesses say he was not resisting and have alleged that Tudor used excessive force.
An investigation by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office did not find sufficient admissible evidence to file either resisting-arrest charges against Denunzio or excessive-force charges against Tudor.
An internal investigation was initiated against Tudor, although Police Chief Cam Sanchez has said his officer did nothing wrong.