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Newz Forum: OTHER: TENNIS: Williams sister murder case against Hammer dismissed

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posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 06:42 PM
COMPTON, Calif. -- A judge Monday dismissed the murder case against one of two men charged in the fatal shooting of the half-sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.

A jury deadlocked 9-3 earlier this month in favor of acquitting Aaron Michael Hammer. He was accused of shooting at Yetunde Price with a .22-caliber handgun, but prosecutors said the shot that killed her wasn't from that weapon.

State law allows a murder charge for taking part in a crime in which a person is killed by someone else.

Hammer was sentenced to three years in prison Monday on a separate charge of being an ex-felon in possession of a gun.

Hammer was tried alongside Robert Edward Maxfield, 24, an alleged gang member accused of firing the gun that killed Price. A mistrial was declared two weeks ago in Maxfield's case after jurors deadlocked, with five voting to convict, six favoring acquittal and one juror unable to decide.

A judge last week refused to dismiss the case against Maxfield and ordered him back to court Nov. 29 to determine whether he will retain his current attorney.

Price, 31, of Corona, was shot in the back of the head while riding through Compton in September 2003. A mother of three and a beauty shop owner, she was also a personal assistant to her sisters, who began their tennis careers in Compton.



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