CLEVELAND COUNTY, Okla. – After hours of deliberations, a mistrial was declared in the case of a former Tishomingo teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student a third of her age.
Shelley Duncan, 50, was arrested in 2016 for a suspected inappropriate relationship with a then 14-year-old boy. She faced a felony charge of lewd acts with a child.
Prosecutors said Duncan engaged in sexual acts with the boy twice, once in her truck while her child was asleep inside and once at the Tishomingo Public Schools Alternative Education Building.
During arguments Thursday, the state said the case included both direct and circumstantial evidence, including more than 7,000 texts exchanged between Duncan and the teenager.
Prosecutors said it doesn’t matter if the teenager “wanted it,” the law under the state of Oklahoma states his age prevented him from giving consent.
“This was no accident,” the state argued. “She [Duncan] knew what she was doing and did it anyway.”
However, an attorney for Duncan urged the jury to carefully consider the teenager’s testimony and claimed it was inconsistent with past interviews.
“You can’t believe a word [teen] says,” the defense told the jury.
The attorney also pointed out Duncan’s daughter, who testified during trial, said she was not asleep on the ride home. They urged the jury to believe her over the teenager, who they claim has proven to lie in the past.
“The state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” the defense said.
After more than nine hours of deliberations, the jury was deadlocked.
Around midnight, the judge declared a mistrial.
KFOR is following the story and will update this article as soon as there is more information.