37 / 23
      34 / 28
      32 / 29

      Mistrial in Kemppainen case

      The Kemppainen case has been declared a mistrial. That ruling was handed down from Houghton County Circuit Court Judge Charles Goodman just before five o'clock Friday.

      After more than 14 hours of deliberation and three deadlocks, the jury foreman told the judge there was simply no way they'd be able to reach a unanimous decision on either the arson or murder charges.

      Kemppainen is accused of burning down a Hancock apartment building last summer. Four people were killed in the blaze.

      Jurors had been working towards a verdict since Thursday afternoon. During that time, a number of the fire victims' family members were anxiously waiting for their decision. They were obviously frustrated by the trial's outcome.

      "We TMre feeling very disappointed, but optimistic that we'll have a new trial, said Laurel Hoganson Maki, a cousin of victims John Hoganson and Robert MacDonald. It was a very tough week for everyone concerned, but we certainly appreciate the court proceedings."

      Kemppainen will remain in custody of the Houghton County Sheriff's Office while he awaits a pretrial conference. That hearing will be used to determine the next steps and should take place within two weeks.