Hung jury in trial of man accused in killing of vineyard owner


A murder trial of a man accused of killing a prominent grape grower resulted in a hung jury Thursday.

The judge declared a mistrial in the trial of a 25-year-old Mariano Fernandez Perez. Perez was accused in the murder of Jakov Dulcich.

The jury was deadlocked, unable to reach a unanimous not guilty verdict. The jury was one vote from reaching an acquittal.

Dulcich was the founder of a number of local businesses including Pretty Lady Vineyards and Dulcich and Sons Incorporated.

Investigators say Perez fired into Dulcich’s vehicle on a roadway near Delano in April. 

Court documents said Perez didn’t provide any insight into a possible motive into the killing and denied having a reason to kill Dulcich.

Perez’s attorney told 17 News, the trial was a “complete injustice” and the prosecution did not have concrete evidence implicating Perez.

The District Attorney’s office declined comment when reached for comment. 

A new trial date is set for early November.

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