Jury Deadlock Declares Mistrial in High-Stakes Murder Case Involving Teen’s Release

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – A mistrial has been declared in the case of Isaiah Taylor, who has been in custody for nearly two years. Taylor was one of two teenagers charged in the death of Nicodemus “Nico” Gonzales at a house party in Las Cruces. The jury deliberated for five hours but could not reach a consensus on the charges, including first-degree murder, conspiracy, and aggravated assault.

The trial concluded with closing arguments in a 3rd Judicial District courtroom. District Judge Richard Jacquez asked the jury if further deliberations would lead to a verdict, but most jurors indicated that it would not. As a result, Judge Jacquez declared a mistrial.

Roxanne Garcia-McElmell, a spokesperson for the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office, confirmed that Taylor will face a new trial. In the meantime, Taylor’s attorney, Gary Mitchell, plans to file a motion regarding the terms of Taylor’s release.

The fatal shooting occurred during a house party on July 31, 2021. Police allege that Taylor and Mawu Revels fought with a group of men connected to Gonzales. Revels has already been convicted and sentenced in the case. Court records indicate that Taylor and Revels fired multiple rounds into a group of people at the party.

Prosecutor Salvador Guardiola argued during closing arguments that Taylor and Revels were targeting another individual at the party. Threats made against Taylor’s child reportedly led to the confrontation. However, defense attorney Mitchell emphasized that witnesses did not place Taylor near the scene of the shooting or with a gun.

Multiple weapons were involved in the incident, with shell casings from at least four guns recovered. Guardiola asserted that the presence of multiple firearms indicated collaboration among the shooters.

Mitchell disputed the prosecution’s claims, highlighting witness testimony that contradicted the idea that Taylor was armed or involved in the shooting. He also noted that Taylor was seen heading away from the location where the gunshots were heard.

The mistrial ruling means the case will be retried in the future. Isaiah Taylor will have another opportunity to present his defense and seek a different outcome.