Third jury hangs in Carvalho case

Oct. 24, 2013 @ 05:08 PM

The trial of a man changed with a 2000 murder ended in a hung jury last week.

After a week-long trial, a jury failed to reach verdict against John Joseph Carvalho. It is the third time a trial against him has ended in a hung jury.

“There is no reasonable probability that a unanimous verdict will be reached. Case is to be retained for trial or other proceeding which may be proper,” court documents state.

Carvalho is charged with the murder of George Kastanis, a Greek immigrant who settled in Union County. He was shot dead the night of April 28, 2000 as he closed the store he co-owned, Avondale Grocery on Sechrest Shortcut Road.

Carvalho was questioned in connection to the murder by Monroe Police and State Bureau of Investigation agents shortly after the body was found, but he was not arrested. Four years past before investigators had enough evidence Carvalho to bring charges.

The prosecutor’s case relied on the testimony of Bill Anderson, a fellow inmate investigators said alerted the SBI to Carvalho’s statements he killed Kastanis and Richard Long, Carvalho’s brother-in-law. Though Anderson refused to testify in the 2010 retrial of Carvalho for Long’s murder, he did take the stand during this trial.

Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Perry and defense attorney Robert Trobich wrangled over a recording made covertly by Anderson of a conversation with Carvalho. Without mentioning Carvalho was previously tried in Long’s murder, the attorneys agreed to play the recording for the jury.

But the tape’s quality is poor and little of the conversation was heard.

Court documents did not state when or if the case would be heard again.