ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) – A Hardin County judge presiding over a murder trial declared a mistrial in the case late Wednesday night.
The jury deadlocked in deciding if Conner Galenski was guilty of murder for the shooting death of Mackenzie Smyzer in November 2010 near Fort Knox. However, those same jurors found Galenski guilty of tampering with physical evidence.
Galenski was arrested with two other Louisville teens, Ryan Wilt and Jason Gowers. Both of them took plea deals in connection with Smyser's murder. All three were 18 at time Smyser was killed.
During his closing, Galenski's lawyer told the jury that his client was only there when Smyser was killed and the other two did the killing. The prosecutor told a different story.
"The night Mac was lured to that country road and shot by his friends, Conner Galenski shot him the first time," said Hardin County prosecutor Heather Paynter. "Pulled the trigger. Shot him in the face. Watching him fall to the ground."
"Do not subjectively tie him into these two (Wilt and Gowers) because he was just being there," said defense attorney Rick Gowers.
Galenski will return to the courtroom Thursday afternoon for sentencing on the tampering conviction. The Commonwealth can retry Galenski on the murder charge if they choose to.