Mistrial declared for former Razorback accused of murder

Posted: July 2, 2014 at 1:44 p.m.
Updated: July 2, 2014 at 2:21 p.m.

STAFF PHOTO ANDY SHUPE Josh Melton, left, sits alongside attorney Courtney Clive during his trial Tuesday at the Washington County Courthouse in Fayetteville.

A mistrial was declared Wednesday in the second-degree murder trial of Josh Melton after two jurors were dismissed.

Melton, 33, a former Razorback football player, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Michael Gover, 30, in August.

Circuit Judge William Storey declared a mistrial just before the afternoon session was to begin. The case was tentatively set for retrial Oct. 20.

One juror was dismissed Wednesday morning, after a defense challenge, because he had nodded off during testimony Tuesday afternoon. A second juror was dismissed during the lunch break Wednesday after she told the judge she felt she could no longer reach a decision in the case.

Gover and Melton were friends, according to multiple accounts. Melton told Fayetteville police the two went drinking at a couple of bars and ended up at Melton's home, 6316 W. Copper Ridge Lane, just south of Wedington Avenue.

A blood-covered Melton was taken to the police station where he was questioned off and on for about eight hours. Melton said the two men were very drunk on beer when they arrived at his home and, after a final shot of rum, he didn't remember anything else until the next day when he found Gover dead.