CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The New Hampshire man accused of setting a 1989 fire that killed a family of four is free after state prosecutors declined to retry him following a mistrial in December.
David McLeod, now 57, was charged in 2010 with four counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Carl and Lori Hina, their 4-month-old daughter, Lillian, and Carl Hina's 12-year-old daughter, Sara. A judge declared a mistrial Dec. 19 when jurors failed to reach a verdict after two days of deliberations.
A new trial had been scheduled for April 14 but Attorney General Joseph Foster said Thursday it became clear after a review, which included juror interviews, that a different outcome after a second trial was highly unlikely.
"Therefore, after a thorough review, the decision has been made to forego the April 2014 retrial and avoid a double jeopardy issue," Foster said in a statement.
The state can retry McLeod if new evidence or legal avenues develop.
McLeod's lawyer said supporters were happy with the state's decision.
"We have said from the beginning that David is innocent," said Public Defender Caroline Smith. "We are all relieved that he has finally been released from the Cheshire County Corrections facility and can rejoin his family."