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Jurors fail to decide on manslaughter charge

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ivory Lynch could face a second trial after jurors were unable to reach a verdict in his case, which centers on the death of a man he caught breaking into his car.

The jury unanimously agreed Lynch was not guilty of second-degree murder, but they were unable to agree on a verdict as to a lesser-included voluntary manslaughter charge.

According to Michael Patrick, a spokesman for the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, jurors were split 9 to 3 on voluntary manslaughter, with a majority in favor of conviction. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether they will retry Lynch.

Louren Oliveros, the attorney representing Lynch, said she was very happy with the jury’s acquittal on the murder charge.

“We are looking forward to vindicating him on manslaughter as well, if they choose to try this again,” she said.

Lynch had stepped out of a comedy show in Downtown Albuquerque on a Friday night in September 2017 to get cash out of his SUV, and found the door open, and Ronnie Fernandez standing nearby, according to court documents and his attorney. Lynch kept a loaded gun in his vehicle, and his defense attorneys say Fernandez twice attempted to shoot that gun at Lynch. Lynch then hopped into his SUV and hit and killed Fernandez with the vehicle.

“What (Fernandez) did was attempt to kill Mr. Lynch,” Oliveros said in an interview Wednesday. “And in doing that, Mr. Lynch has every right (to act) in self defense and in the defense of others in the vicinity to use deadly force.”

Prosecutors said that Lynch hit Fernandez hard enough to send him flying down an alleyway and then he crashed his SUV into a building.

According to jury instructions, to find Lynch guilty of voluntary manslaughter, the state needed to show that he acted as a result of “sufficient provocation” and did not act in self-defense or in the defense of others.