Mistrial Declared in Gregory Murder Case

Posted: February 26, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Clifford L. “Clay” Athey Jr. declared a mistrial this morning in the Bradley Scott Gregory murder trial after a juror told court officials that he knew the defendant.

Gregory, 28, of Winchester, is charged with first-degree murder, felony homicide (or second-degree murder) and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the 2012 New Year’s Day death of Michael Scott Shirley, 27, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

Gregory was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the charges this morning in Frederick County Circuit Court.

After nearly three hours of empanelling a jury, one of the selected jurors came forward and told court officials that he had worked with the defendant in a factory about three years ago but did not realize it was the same person.

The juror admitted to knowing the defendant just before opening statements were to begin. Upon further questioning in open court, he called Gregory a friend and said he could probably go forward with the trial but that it “would be awkward.”

The juror said it “did not dawn on him” until then that he knew Gregory.

Frederick County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ross Spicer and Public Defender Timothy Coyne agreed to a mistrial.

The trial was rescheduled by Athey for April 15-17.

Gregory was arrested and charged in Shirley’s death after Frederick County sheriff’s deputies responded in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2012,  to a 911 call about a person shot at 1373 S. Timber Ridge Road, near the West Virginia border. According to court records, Gregory was sitting in a vehicle in a parking area when he loaded the gun and shot Shirley in the chest.

Documents state that Gregory admitted shooting Shirley.

For more information about the mistrial, read Wednesday’s Winchester Star.

 — Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com