Mistrial declared in case of woman accused of killing teenage girl

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A judge Wednesday declared a mistrial in a trial for a woman accused of shooting and killing a teenage girl at a Westside Wawa in 2020.

The jury stated in a letter: “We could not agree on a verdict.”

This came after the jury deliberated for nearly 5 hours.

A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for Feb. 15.

After the mistrial was declared, Action News Jax spoke with Junior Cummings, a relative of Teneria McClendon.

“To me it’s bogus. This family has suffered too long, and then they got us here all night and now the jury can’t come to a decision. The state already proved their point. Everything is right there in the video.

Cummings shared how he wants Teneria to be remembered.

“She was a loving, kind young lady — straight-A student and never got in trouble,” Cummings said.

Cooper has been charged with second-degree murder.

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Shaetavia Cooper, 26, took the stand Wednesday morning in the trial at the Duval County Courthouse.

According to police, Cooper shot 16-year-old Teneria McClendon during an argument outside of Wawa on Wilson Boulevard.

Read: ‘She shot her like she was nothing’: Trial begins for woman accused in deadly shooting of teenager

In total, 11 witnesses on the state’s side took the stand. This includes family members, a friend of the victim, members of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and a man who rendered air to McClendon.

The state argued that this was not a matter of self-defense, saying Cooper escalated a verbal altercation by going out to her car, retrieving her firearm, and spitting and firing her gun.

“She spits first, then shot, and then asked questions,” the state argued.

Teneria’s mother, Sharonica Eady, was one witness for the prosecution who took the stand Tuesday.

“I’m standing there with my arms out like they’re teenagers….they’re teenagers. She shot her like she was nothing,” Eady said.

Cooper said she felt threatened that night.

“I was in fear for my life,” Cooper said while taking the stand.

Read: Jacksonville Dave & Buster’s employee arrested after serious fight at the business, police say

Body camera footage from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office presented Tuesday in court shows Cooper saying: “I should’ve walked away from the situation.”

The defense presented a motion twice for judgment of acquittal — citing ‘’Stand Your Ground.’

The judge denied both saying ‘Stand Your Ground does not apply in this case.’

“Shaetavia Cooper acted in self-defense,” Cooper’s defense attorney said. “She had a license-permitted firearm. She was never the aggressor. She was spat upon and charged at in the store.”

Originally, Cooper had requested her sister to be called as a witness — but the defense made the decision not to have Cooper’s sister testify.

Cooper took the stand in her own defense.

Cooper confirmed in court that she made the following statement in Wawa prior to the argument: “There are two things I don’t like: being broke and owing people money.”

Read: Man arrested in Jared Bridegan’s murder, State Attorney said the suspect didn’t act alone

She claims she was not talking to the group.

Cooper also said that after she shot McClendon, she tried to give Eady a hug saying: “Don’t let that baby die.”

“You agree that you shot first and then asked questions later?” The state asked Cooper.

“Yes,” Cooper responded.

“That mother over there — she has been really hurting,” Cummings said. “They don’t know what we’ve been through as a family. You know, we’re a praying family. We got some prayer warriors out here too. But you know God said justice is gonna prevail, whether they want it to or not. It’s gonna come out.”

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