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Homicide in Wayne County trial ends in mistrial

After three days on trial and roughly six hours of jury deliberation, jurors told the judge they were deadlocked and unable to come to a unanimous verdict.

WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. — A homicide case ended when the Wayne County jury couldn't reach a decision. The defendant was on trial for a woman's murder in 2018.

Defendant Cole Dufton of Pleasant Mount left the Wayne County Courthouse led by sheriff's deputies shortly after his criminal homicide trial was declared a mistrial.

Dufton had been on trial for allegedly shooting and killing Suzette Bullis in December of 2018 inside her home near Lakewood.

Prosecutors argued that Dufton bought pills from Bullis and was angry that she shorted him $1500 in drug money.

After three days on trial and roughly six hours of jury deliberation, jurors told the judge they were deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Despite the judge's urging to try harder and the prosecution's request that the jury goes home for the night and return the next day, the judge declared a mistrial in Dufton's case.

Michael Caiati is Bullis's first cousin, and he says the family is crushed with this outcome.

"It is very emotional. We wait three years to find out this. I don't know what else to say, said Caiati.

During the trial, forensics experts testified to finding 100 pill bottles, a 9 mm shell casing, and the bullet that killed Bullis in her home.

Caiati says they are stunned jurors could not find him guilty.

"I'm very surprised with the evidence they have. Very surprised," said Caiati.

The prosecution asked that Dufton be taken back to the Wayne County Prison and be held until a new trial date could be set.

That request was granted.