Kellen Winslow II trial: Judge declares mistrial on remaining counts
VISTA, Calif. — The eight men and four women tasked with deciding the fate of Kellen Winslow II were unable to reach a consensus on eight of the 12 counts against him.
Shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Judge Blaine K. Bowman received a note from jurors informing him they remain hopelessly deadlocked on the remaining charges.
“Is it your considered judgement that the jury remains hopelessly deadlocked?” Bowman asked the foreman.
“Yes,” the foreman replied.
As a result, Bowman declared a mistrial.
The deadlock comes one day after jurors found Winslow guilty of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman by the side of a dimly lit Encinitas road in May 2018. Winslow was also found guilty of an indecent exposure misdemeanor involving a 58-year-old woman who was gardening in the front yard of her Encinitas home and a lewd conduct misdemeanor involving a 78-year-old woman at a Carlsbad health club.
The two cases in which the jury could not reach a consensus involved the alleged 2018 rape of a 54-year-old unemployed woman Winslow picked up hitchhiking and the 2003 rape of a high school senior after a house party. Winslow’s attorneys argued that both encounters were consensual, noting that the first alleged victim had multiple chances to call 9-1-1, flee or shout for help and the second alleged victim’s testimony did not match what she initially told police last summer.
For now, the outcome of the case is a victory of sorts for Winslow’s defense team given the mountain of testimony and evidence he was facing.
Winslow could have spent the rest of his life in prison after being charged with seven felonies. Unless the remaining counts are retried, he will instead spend at most nine years behind bars, up to eight years for the forcible rape conviction and six months apiece for the misdemeanor lewd conduct and indecent exposure.
When the jury sent him a note Monday afternoon that they were deadlocked on the remaining eight counts, Bowman chose not to immediately accept that outcome. He asked jurors to resume deliberations on Tuesday morning despite objections from Winslow’s defense attorneys, who were already vehemently advocating for the judge to declare a mistrial on the remaining charges.
“They’ve indicated that they are deadlocked,” defense attorney Marc Carlos said. “ ‘Deadlocked’ is the word they used. It’s our request that the court takes that finding now.”
Responded Bowman, “I’m not opposed to declaring them hopelessly deadlocked. I want to give them time to go home and sleep on it.”
It’s understandable that Bowman would not want to declare a mistrial in a high-profile case that no doubt cost the prosecution thousands of dollars to assemble.
Winslow is an ex-NFL tight end and the son of Kellen Winslow Sr., a member of the NFL Hall of Fame who remains a beloved figure in the San Diego area. The younger Winslow earned more than $40 million in salary during a 10-year NFL career highlighted by four seasons with 75 or more catches and a 2007 invitation to the Pro Bowl.
Each day of Winslow’s four-week trial, his father has shown up to the courtroom clad in a suit and tie and sat in the same first-row seat directly behind his son.
He listened as prosecutor Dan Owens portrayed his son as a sexual predator who targeted vulnerable women, took from them for his sexual pleasure and then discarded them. He also heard his son’s defense attorneys counter by seizing on the holes and inconsistencies in the accusers’ stories in hopes of showing that the younger Winslow was a victim of wrongful accusations or mistaken identity.
When the court clerk read the jury’s verdict on Monday afternoon, the younger Winslow displayed more emotion than he has at any other point in the trial. He nervously sipped water during the reading and later shook his head in apparent frustration to his attorneys and supporters.
The elder Winslow’s body language revealed little about what he was thinking as the jury delivered its verdict. He sat motionless in his seat, eyes down, legs crossed and a somber expression on his face.