Series of Mistrials after being accused of fatally stabbing his friend
After three mistrials in a murder case against a Granite Bay man who was accused of fatally stabbing his friend in 2005, the Placer County District Attorney’s Office today moved to have the charges dismissed.
Placer County Superior Court Judge Robert P. McElhany accepted prosecutor Bill Marchi’s motion for dismissal against Caleb John Madsen, now 28, who had been prosecuted in the death of Christopher Worth, 23.
However, Marchi told the judge that if new evidence were to surface in the case, the District Attorney’s Office would revisit its decision.
The first trial in 2008 ended in a hung jury, the jurors deadlocking at 7-5 in favor of convicting Madsen on first-degree murder. In a retrial in 2009, a jury deadlocked at 10-2 in favor of conviction.
In a third trial that concluded Feb. 1, a Placer County jury acquitted Madsen of first-degree murder, meaning he cannot be tried again on that count.
But the jury deadlocked at 6-6 on whether to convict him of second-degree murder.
‘We presented this murder case to three separate juries,’ District Attorney Brad Fenocchio said. ‘Each jury was unable to unanimously agree. In light of those prior inabilities, our view is that now a fourth trial would also likely result in a jury divided. Accordingly, at this time, we will not attempt to persuade a jury beyond a reasonable doubt of the defendant”s guilt.
‘Our sympathy goes out to the family of the victim who, at age 23, was killed by a single stab wound to the heart.’
Worth was found dead in a field near Madsen’s home on July 10, 2005. Detectives for the Placer County Sheriff’s Department established that he’d been with Madsen the previous day and that the defendant was the last person to have seen Worth alive.
In court today, Madsen was convicted of two other crimes, both of them involving violence in the Placer County Jail in Auburn, where he had been an inmate since his arrest in July 2005.
Madsen entered a plea of no contest to a misdemeanor count of assault on another inmate, the crime occurring in January 2006.
He also pled no contest to misdemeanor assault on a peace officer for an October 2008 incident at the jail.
McElhany imposed jail sentences for each incident, but gave Madsen credit for having served the incarceration.
Madsen was released to his family following today”s proceedings.