Investigators say Calvin Ushery attacked 68-year-old Chang Suh, the owner of Solid Gold Jewelers, in September of last year, pointing to video that shows Suh being hit with a hammer and stomped on multiple times. Suh is reportedly still continuing to recover.
James Spadola, a Wilmington, Delaware, city council-at-large member, told NewsNation host Dan Abrams that prosecutors seemed to have an airtight case as far as evidence goes.
“I wish there were an evidence issue, but there weren’t. The defense wasn’t contesting any singular piece of evidence. It was just a jury that unfortunately couldn’t be convinced of what they were seeing in front of them,” Spadola said.
Ushery allegedly bolted from Suh’s store with $100,000 worth of jewelry and wiped surfaces in the store with a cloth before leaving. More surveillance footage showed the suspect riding a bicycle away from the store. Prosecutors noted that detectives later found a bike matching the description in a search of Ushery’s apartment.
A week after the robbery, surveillance footage shows what prosecutors say appears to be Ushery trying to sell large amounts of jewelry to local pawn shops. Ushery was also later arrested for trying to sell jewelry to a woman at a local gas station.
“Yes, you have the video, but there was no DNA. There were no fingerprints there, also no eyewitnesses. I think what you showed with his mugshot and that close up (picture), I mean, that’s hook, line and sinker right there,” Spadola told Abrams. “Take into account the bike, the jewelry he was selling, it’s a done deal.”
Spadola said the crux of the issue, given Ushery’s history, is that he was not in jail.
“To me, the larger point here is that this criminal was on the streets in the first place. Just doing a public search; you can see he’s got at least four felonies in his past,” Spadola said.
While the exact split of the jurors in the jewelry shop case is unclear, Spadola said community members are in shock over the hung jury.
“I was just at a block party a half an hour before the show and people were aghast. You couldn’t have more of an airtight case from a prosecution standpoint, and the police work was solid. So, I’m not sure what was going on in the minds of the jurors, but here we are. We can just only pray for justice for society and for the (Suh) family,” Spadola said.
The jury deliberated for roughly two days, but a mistrial was declared Tuesday. Prosecutors say they plan on retrying the case.