Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State will re-try Heidi Quinn in buried guns case following mistrial

Heidi Quinn, whose son told authorities he killed Brandon High School basketball player Jayquon Johnson in self-defense, is accused of trying to hide both teens' guns by burying them in a trash bin filled with dirt.  [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

Heidi Quinn, whose son told authorities he killed Brandon High School basketball player Jayquon Johnson in self-defense, is accused of trying to hide both teens' guns by burying them in a trash bin filled with dirt. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

TAMPA — The state has decided to re-try Heidi Quinn, the Valrico mother whose evidence tampering trial last week ended with a hung jury.

Assistant State Attorney Nicki Mohr announced in court Thursday morning that a new trial would be held for Quinn, who is accused of hiding guns after her teenage son fatally shot a Brandon High School basketball player in a botched drug deal.

The new trial date is Dec. 4.

Quinn, 52, was arrested in April, four months after her son, Cody, shot 17-year-old Jayquon Johnson in their garage. After hearing the shot, Quinn went into the garage and found Johnson lying on the floor beside a handgun, her son standing over him with his own firearm, according to court testimony.

Quinn picked up both guns and buried them in dirt inside a trash can before sheriff's deputies were called, according to court testimony.

Prosecutors did not charge Cody Quinn with homicide because they said they could not refute his claim of self-defense. He was charged, though, with being a minor in possession of a firearm and several drug-related offenses.

At Heidi Quinn's trial, a detective and crime scene investigator explained that the way the guns were handled rendered them almost useless as evidence.

The state argued that she hid the guns in an effort to stop her son from getting in trouble. But defense attorneys contended that her intent was to protect her son from the danger of the unsecured weapons.

A jury of two men and four women deliberated for less than three hours before telling Circuit Judge Nick Nazaretian they were unable to reach a verdict.

The jury forewoman later told the Tampa Bay Times their indecision may have been influenced by the notion of a parent protecting a child. But she declined to detail the jury's discussion. Several of the jurors were parents, according to their questionnaires.

Johnson's mother and father, who attended Quinn's trial, were also back in court Thursday to hear the state's announcement. Both wore T-shirts bearing their son's image.

State will re-try Heidi Quinn in buried guns case following mistrial 10/12/17 [Last modified: Thursday, October 12, 2017 12:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida woman weighing 325 pounds charged with killing girl by sitting on her

    Crime

    PENSACOLA — A 325-pound (150-kilogram) Florida woman is charged with killing her 9-year-old cousin by sitting on the child as punishment.

    This Oct. 14, 2017 photo made available by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Fla., shows Veronica Green Posey under arrest. Posey is charged with killing her 9-year-old cousin by sitting on the child as punishment. Posey, who weighs 325 pounds, first punished the girl with a ruler and metal pipe before sitting on her for at least 10 minutes. [Escambia County Sheriff's Office via AP]
  2. Girl, 8, got on 'tippy toes' to peer over cruise ship railing, then fell to her death

    Accidents

    MIAMI — A family cruise to paradise turned into a nightmare on Saturday, when an 8-year-old tumbled over the inner railings of a ship and fell to her death.

    Friends and family mourn Zion Smith, the 8-year-old girl who fell to her death aboard a Carnival cruise in Miami this weekend. [Image from Facebook]
  3. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Looking back at what went wrong

    Bucs

    In his latest Cannon Fodder podcast, Greg Auman says Monday brought good news relating to Jameis Winston's shoulder injury.

    A frustrated Mike Evans sits on the bench during the second half of the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Arizona. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Syrian commander says Raqqa has been captured from militants

    World

    BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Syrian forces liberated the city of Raqqa on Tuesday from Islamic State militants, a senior commander said, in a major defeat for the collapsing extremist group that had proclaimed it to be the capital of its "caliphate."

    This frame grab from video released Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 and provided by Furat FM, a Syrian Kurdish activist-run media group, shows Syrian Islamic State group fighters who surrendered entering a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. A spokesman for the SDF in Syria says it will be in control of the northern city of Raqqa "within a few days" after attacking the last pocket held by the Islamic State group. SDF fighters launched an operation to retake the last IS-held pocket of Raqqa after some 275 militants and their family members surrendered. [Furat FM via AP]
  5. Drug czar nominee Marino withdraws name amid report he weakened DEA

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his nominee to be the nation's drug czar is withdrawing from consideration for the job.

    U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., left, sponsored the law that weakened the DEA's enforcement abilities. Seen with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in 2015, Marino is nominated to be the nation's drug czar. [Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg]