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Hung jury in trial of teens accused of Seattle ‘Jungle’ murders

A jury could not come to a conclusion in the trial of James and Jerome Taafulisia.
Credit: KING 5 News
Jerome and James Taafulisia.

The jury in the trial of two teens accused of murdering two people at The Jungle homeless camp came back as hung after deliberation. The jury could not unanimously agree to convict either defendant.

Jerome and James Taafulisia, 16 and 17 at the time of the incident, were charged as adults with two counts of first degree murder and three counts of first degree assault. They both plead not guilty and could face up to 113 years in prison if convicted.

A third suspect in the case, their 13-year-old brother, was charged as a juvenile and if convicted he could be sentenced in prison until his 21st birthday.

All three brothers were detained as suspects after a drug-related shooting in January 2016 left two people dead at The Jungle homeless camp. Police described the shooting as "targeted," and prosecutors say their motive was to rob a small-time drug dealer of about $100 worth of heroin and several hundred dollars in cash.

Since the jury was hung prosecutors will meet to look at the issues and evidence for a retrial.

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