In 2004, there was a felony murder case being tried in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit that ultimately resulted in a mistrial. From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
Alfred Jackson Alexander Sr., then 26, was indicted in December 2004 for allegedly smothering his crying son Eligah Lee Alexander with a pillow in the family’s mobile home near Ringgold. In October 2005, a jury found him guilty of child cruelty — and not guilty of malice murder — but could not reach a verdict on a felony murder charge. The jury split 11 to 1, resulting in a mistrial.
It wasn’t discovered that the case hadn’t gone back to trial until a state pathologist had ask for files related to the case last year:
According to [Judge Ralph] Van Pelt’s September 2013 order, [Chief Assistant District Attorney Chris] Arnt discovered the felony murder count hadn’t been set for retrial when the state’s pathologist from the 2005 trial called him in March 2013 and asked for information from the trial transcript.
Arnt, who had tried the case originally, asked court clerk Tracy Brown to put the felony murder count back on the trial calendar, Van Pelt wrote.
Brown worked for longtime court clerk Norman L. Stone during the time Alexander’s case was left off the calendar, Van Pelt wrote, but she “was unable to explain how it was … never calendared again other than ‘… we just didn’t know how to deal with that, I guess.'”
Brown said Wednesday that “technically, the DA’s office is supposed to be the one that makes sure those cases are active and ongoing. If they’re going to seek to retry a trial, they have to let us know if it has to be calendared.”
The trial was supposed to be placed back on the calendar, but apparently it got lost in the shuffle when Mr. Alexander was appealing the child cruelty charge back in 2007. District Attorney Buzz Franklin said that they would change the process of how his office would handle outstanding appeals.