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Judge declares mistrial as Fayette man acquitted of assault, threat charges

| Thursday, Aug. 8, 2002

A Fayette County man accused of attempting to burn his wife and child in bed was acquitted of four charges Wednesday, while a jury was deadlocked over six others.

During an alleged barrage of threats on April 6, police said defendant Keith D. Shipley also was shot by his mother-in-law, who was not charged.

Fayette County President Judge William J. Franks declared a mistrial because jurors could not agree whether Shipley, 31, of 585 Stewarton Road, Mill Run, had threatened to kill seven friends and relatives after an argument with his wife.

Jurors found Shipley not guilty of reckless endangerment of his wife and daughter, simple assault of his wife and terroristic threats made toward his daughter.

Charges of attempted homicide were dismissed Tuesday by Franks.

After arguing with his wife, Amanda, Shipley allegedly dragged her out of a bed, bruising her arm. He then tried to set the bed on fire while his wife and daughter, Hannah, were in the room.

Sandra Shipley, Amanda Shipley's mother, said she shot Keith Shipley after he menaced her.

The jury could not decide if Shipley threatened the six people in his mother-in-law's house.

Prosecutor Mark Mehalov said he did not know if the district attorney would retry the case.

Shipley remains in jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

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