Mistrial Declared in Murder-for-Hire Case

The jury hangs on all three defendants, nearly acquitting one.

After more than two weeks of testimony and almost three full days of deliberation, the jury in the attempted murder and conspiracy trial of Mary Sharpski, Michael Shores and Antionio Ortega decided Thursday that it could not reach a verdict on any of the charges.

Sharpski's attorney, Joel Garson, said the jury deadlocked at 9-3 in favor of convicting Ortega, split 6-6 on Shores and was 7-5 in favor of a not guilty verdict for Sharpski. He said that the jurors told Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey that they stopped just short of reaching a not guilty verdict for Sharpski late in the day Wednesday, but that when they reconvened Thursday morning, five jurors had changed their minds.

Ortega, 25, of Santa Ana, along with Sharpski, 48, and Shores, 40, both of Fountain Valley, are charged with plotting to kill Frank Sharpski, known to friends and family as Rick, in March 2009. As part of the alleged conspiracy with Shores and Sharpski, Ortega is accused of attacking Rick Sharpski with a machete in an alley outside of the couple’s home and leaving him to die on the morning of March 3, 2009, fracturing his skull, severing a thumb and fingers, partly severing his nose and causing several other machete wounds.

A hearing will be held July 1 to determine the next steps in the case.

Lancer May 27, 2011 at 03:07 PM
...it just goes to show you what a woman can get away with in this State!....what a disgrace if these 3 losers walk free.
Lancer May 27, 2011 at 03:14 PM
does anyone really believe that this Ortega character would have done this hatchet job without Shores and the wife being involved!.....give me a break...where do they find these people who sit on Juries?


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