Mistrial declared in elderly AL woman's rape case

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) - A Lee County Circuit Court judge has declared a mistrial in the case of an Opelika man charged with the rape of an elderly woman.

Judge John V. Denson II said he had no choice but to declare a mistrial Friday after the jury was unable to reach an unanimous decision after several hours of deliberations. The Opelika-Auburn News reports the jury chairman told Denson that further deliberations would not help.

A new jury will be needed in the case of 43-year-old Anthony James Vines, who is accused of forcing his way into the then 90-year-old woman's home and raping her in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2008. Both the victim, now 91, and Vines took the stand this week. Denson told the jurors not to talk to the media as their comments may prejudice the next jury.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-10-23-09 2224EDT