Scholl Trial Declared a Mistrial


WILKES-BARRE. LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)  The judge in the trial of Melissa Scholl has declared a mistrial. The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick has the story.

  Melissa Scholl was escorted out of the Luzerne County Courthouse Friday night just minutes after a judge declared a mistrial in her case.   She had nothing to say.

A jury of 9 men and 3 women deliberated for about 7 hours and said it could not reach a verdict.

It was deadlocked. Scholl was accused of trying to kill her 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter with exhaust fumes.. 

A bus driver happened along her car at the bus company parking lot on Blackman Street in Wilkes-Barre Township on the night of December 9th, 2015.  Garden hoses were connected to the exhaust pipe and run into the drivers side window.

During closing arguments Friday, defense lawyer Larry Kansky told the jury.”It was a cry for help. She never said she was going to kill her children. She wanted help raising her children”

But Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said it was not a cry for help..that Scholl had every intention to end her life and take her children with her..

He noted “She put her kids into the car, drove to a secluded,dark parking lot and ran hoses from the exhaust pipe into the car. This was not a cry for help.”

The jury apparently could not decide on whether Scholl really wanted to kill her kids. They asked the judge to explain the charge of attempted murder.  In that charge, the prosecution must prove there was a clear intent to kill..

Sources close to the case tell Eyewitness News  that the final vote was 10 to 2 in favor of a guilty plea and that the two jurors who voted “not guilty” could not be moved from their position. By law a jury must reach a unanimous decision.

For now Melissa Scholl remains in custody. Her lawyer asked the judge for a nominal bail. The judge denied that request. 

Scholl’s bail remains at $500,000. The district attorney has 120 days to decide whether to re-try her on the charges.

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