A mistrial was declared Tuesday night in the three-month-long trial of three teenagers accused of the brutal slaying of a 12-year-old Toronto boy.
The judge declared the mistrial after two days of jury deliberations, saying the Crown's key witness may have perjured herself by posting information about the case on the Internet. The court was to reconvene Friday.
The older brother of the 12-year-old boy, known in court as Johnathan, and two other teenaged friends, now 16 and 17, were charged with first-degree murder in the grisly slaying.
The Crown's witness was the girlfriend of one of the younger youths who taped a conversation where the three bragged about planning to kill the older brother's family.
The girl's testimony that she feared the trio were serious and wanted to prove it to police was the main plank of Crown attorneys Hank Goody and Anna Tenhouse's case that there was a laid-out murder plan.
The trial shocked the city as gory details of the killing and allegations of vampirism were revealed in court.
Johnathan's body was practically drained of blood by more than 70 cut, hack and stab wounds.
At the time of the attack, the older brother stood over six-foot and weighed more than 200 pounds, while Johnathan was under five feet tall and barely tipped the scales at 100 pounds.
Johnathan's small body was found in his home basement's crawl space on Nov. 25, 2003 with 71 cut, hack or stab wounds, including three fatal thrusts that severed a vital artery.
Prosecutors said Johnathan's older brother and his friends killed the boy minutes after bragging of a plan to murder his entire family.
But defence lawyers argued the homicide was an unexpected burst of violence by the older brother, who acted alone.
David McCaskill, Dennis Lenzin and Robert Nuttall argued that the taped phone call was a pathetic plan of a teenager trying to impress a girlfriend who wanted out of their relationship.
The girl's boyfriend testified he made up the plot and had told similar lies to woo previous lovers.
The now 16-year-old friend of Johnathan's brother said he jokingly called himself a vampire, dressed in Gothic-like garb and drank blood with his girlfriends before having sex.
The older brother and 17-year-old friend were also charged with attempted murder of the stepfather 30 minutes after Johnathan's death.