Mistrial declared in cop assault

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A mistrail was declared Tuesday in the case of a Hattiesburg man charged with simple assault on a law enforcement officer.

The trial for Carlton Roberts ended when the jury couldn't reach a verdict after two hours of deliberation.

Roberts was charged after an incident in March of 2008 when prosecutors claim he punched a Hattiesburg police officer, Chris Hensley, in the face.

Prosecutors said Hensley, while on patrol, came across Roberts leaning over into a vehicle at night looking suspicious.

The defense claimed Roberts was getting things out of his vehicle and Hensley overreacted by pepper spraying Roberts.

Prosecutors said Roberts punched the officer and broke his nose before being pepper sprayed, but the defense said the officer was hit afterwards as Roberts flailed his arms in reaction to the spray.

A re-trial is expected.