A King County jury on Tuesday could not reach a unanimous verdict in the trial of a Texas man accused of killing a man whose body was never found.
A King County jury could not reach a unanimous verdict in the trial of a Texas man accused of killing another man whose body was never found.
A judge on Tuesday afternoon declared a mistrial in the trial of Myron Wynn, 50, who was charged with first-degree murder in February 2009 after sheriff’s investigators connected him to victim Robert Wykel, of Burien, through a distinctive diamond.
Wynn has been on trial at the King County Courthouse since mid-November. Jurors deliberated for about three days before announcing they were hopelessly deadlocked.
After the mistrial was declared, Wynn was led back to the King County Jail to await work on whether he will be retried. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kristin Richardson said that Prosecutor Dan Satterberg won’t make the final decision for several days.
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Defense attorney Robert Jourdan said there is no evidence that Wykel was slain, nor was there any way to definitely say that the diamond at the center of the case was the distinctive stone that was once worn by Wykel.
“I’m disappointed the jury wasn’t able to make a decision in this matter,” Jourdan said.
Wykel, a 66-year-old retired sheet metal worker and restaurant owner, disappeared in February 1996 after telling friends he was going to check out a vintage Thunderbird, according to court documents. Wykel supplemented his retirement income by restoring classic cars, charging papers said, and he withdrew $5,200 cash from his bank.
Wykel was last seen with Wynn at Mother Nature’s Acres, a resort in Thurston County owned by Wynn’s sister, Robyn Wynn. Wykel’s car was found abandoned in a Burien park-and-ride lot.
Detectives reopened the case in 1999 and connected Wynn to the slaying through an old European-cut diamond, according to court documents. Wykel had owned a custom-designed ring with the distinctive diamond, charging papers said.
Wynn’s ex-girlfriend said that Wynn gave her a necklace with an unusual diamond as a gift in 1996, the same year Wykel disappeared. Wynn told her he found the stone at a bus stop in Burien, the same place where Wykel’s car was found abandoned, court documents said.
When the two broke up, Wynn took back the stone and sold it to his aunt, according to charging papers. Detectives recovered the diamond from Wynn’s aunt and had it appraised, court documents said. The 1.28-carat diamond was worth $5,000 and had several chips and abrasions, according to the charging papers.
Wykel’s daughter told detectives the ring would be banged up because her father wore it while working on cars, according to the charging papers. Wykel’s friends and family long suspected Wynn in the homicide.
When jurors announced Tuesday that they were unable to reach a verdict, members of Wykel’s family hugged each other. They declined to comment because they said they might be called to testify if the case is retried.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or email@example.com