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.

Kellen Winslow Jr. through his football career
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Kellen Winslow Jr. through his football career
University of Miami tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. (81) scores after getting past Florida A&M University defenders Levy Brown (11) and Shedrick Copeland (31) in the first quarter of their game in Miami, Florida, August 31, 2002. REUTERS/Colin Braley CB
University of Miami Hurricanes' tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. cannot hold on to a Derek Crudup pass in the second quarter against Syracuse at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, November 15, 2003. Winslow was benched for the start of the game after several unsportsman-like penalties in his last game against Tennessee. REUTERS/Marc Serota MS/GAC
Miami-Florida's All-American tight-end Kellen Winslow, Jr., will forgo his senior year and enter the 2004 NFL draft, coach Larry Coker said on January 4, 2004. Winslow Jr., son of Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, is pictured during the Orange Bowl game against the Florida State Seminoles in Miami, Florida, January 1, 2004. Winslow finished the season with a team-high 60 receptions for 605 yards but came under criticism for some of his remarks and antics. REUTERS/Marc Serota/Fuiles MS/SV
University of Miami tight end Kellen Winslow II holds up a Cleveland Browns jersey with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (L) after being selected by the Browns as the sixth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York, April 24, 2004. REUTERS/Chip East MS/GAC
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Kellen Winslow (80) chats with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) after their NFL game at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland,Ohio December 3, 2006. Browns won on a field goal in overtime play, 31-28. REUTERS/Ron Kuntz (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow gets oxygen before playing the Arizona Cardinals in their NFL football game in Glendale, Arizona, December 2, 2007. REUTERS/Rick Scuteri (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Browns Kellen Winslow (80) stiff arms Denver Broncos defender Marquand Manuel (33) during the third quarter of their NFL football game in Cleveland, Ohio November 6, 2008. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow (82) is tackled by Carolina Panthers safety Charles Godfrey (30) during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 19, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Keane (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow (R) runs past Washington Redskins defender DeAngelo Hall (L) as he scores the game-winning touchdown in the second half of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland, December 12, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow (82) breaks free from New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Scott Shanle (58) for a gain during their NFL football game in Tampa, Florida October 16, 2011. REUTERS/Pierre DuCharme (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow (L) gets taken by New Orleans Saints' safety Malcolm Jenkins during their NFL football game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana November 6, 2011. The Saints beat the Buccaneers 27-16. REUTERS/Dan Anderson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Dec 29, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow (81) runs after a catch against the Miami Dolphins during the second half of the game at Sun Life Stadium. The Jets defeated Miami 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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