Nicholas Jamal Nix

A Drew County jury deliberated more than four hours Wednesday afternoon before acquitting Nicholas Jamal Nix of first-degree murder in the March shooting death of 25-year-old Katlin Lidge, but found itself hopelessly deadlocked 7 to 5 on second-degree murder.

It was the second trial for Nix. A mistrial was declared in his June trial when that jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

Authorities say Nix, brother of Lidge’s girlfriend, fatally shot the former UAM football player during an altercation at a Monticello apartment complex. The state’s evidence included an e-mail in which Nix indicated that he might kill Lidge over something related to Nix’s sister.

But Nix, 19, of Monticello said he did not intend to kill Lidge. He said Lidge jumped on him and started choking him and he fired the gun to get him off.

Lidge was shot four times.

Circuit Judge Bynum Gibson set Nix’s second retrial for September but double jeopardy may apply in this case.

Tenth Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen, who is currently in the middle of a murder trial in Ashley County, said he hasn’t had a chance to research that issue. He said he will tend to it as soon as he is done with the Ashley County trial.

“I’m sure (Nix’s) attorney knows how to file the proper motions for the court to determine whether double jeopardy bars another trial,” Deen said.

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