JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The trial of a Jones County man charged with three counts of molesting ended in a mistrial after jury deliberations Friday.
Soso resident Lindin Ellzey, 37, was arrested and charged with three counts of molesting his step-daughter in January 2017 after the concerned parent contacted the sheriff's department about many inappropriate actions that allegedly happened between Ellzey and her daughter from January 2009 to January 2014, according to the Jones County Sheriff's Department.
The jury came back from deliberations with a 10-2 not guilty verdict, and Judge Dal Williamson declared a mistrial.
During the defense phase of the trial, Ellzey took the stand and said that his ex-wife told him during an argument that she would blackmail him. The couple was going through a custody battle for the child they had together around this time.
The defense also called a representative from Mississippi Child Protection Services, who said that at no time during the initial interview did the victim admit to any kind of sexual abuse.
The CPS representative concluded that there was no evidence of inappropriate behavior between the child and Ellzey.
Also called upon by the defense, the current wife of Ellzey, who took to the stand and said that his former wife, the victims mother, had verbally accosted her during a visitation transfer. Ellisville Police Chief Bruce Russell and Attorney Grant Hedgepeth were also called as character witnesses for the defense.
The defense rested around 3:00 p.m. and the jury was read their instructions. Shortly after 4 p.m. the jury was instructed to begin their deliberations.
On Thursday the victim, who is now 16 years old, provided emmotional testimony, telling the court she was ashamed and only came forward fearing for her sister's safety.