One of the most scrutinized murder trials in Alexander County history is over.
A Superior Court jury returned a verdict of not guilty on Tuesday in the trial of Jason Daniel Clary.
Clary, age 39 of Hiddenite was charged with the April 11, 2016 shooting death of Travis Dean Harold. The shooting took place in Clary’s driveway in Eastern Alexander County. Clary admitted to the shooting but contended that it was in self defense. Harold had arrived armed with a piece of pipe. The shooting was captured on video by Clary’s wife.
Clary was tried in September of 2018. A mistrial was declared when the jury was deadlocked 8-4 in favor of Clary’s acquittal. Judge Martin McGee, of Concord, presided over both trials. The second trial went much like the first with the state presenting the video as evidence and a series of witnesses. When the prosecution rested, much like the initial trial, no evidence was presented and no witnesses were called by the defense. Robert Campbell of Taylorsville represented Clary at both trials. District Attorney Sarah Kirkman was in charge of the case for the state.
The jury deliberated for about 30 minutes on Monday and returned Tuesday morning. The panel informed the judge around 3:30, they had reached a verdict. The jury could have found Clary guilty of first degree murder, second degree murder, or voluntary manslaughter.
Clary still faces a charge of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. The charge is not related to the shooting incident. That weapon was classified as a muzzleloader. Under federal law, a muzzleloader is defined as an “antique firearm” and their possession by a felon is not prohibited.