SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A deadlocked jury prompted a judge to declare a mistrial Monday in the case of a former San Diego man accused of killing his wife in their Mission Valley apartment 16 years ago and dumping her body in a remote area of the Cleveland National Forest.
Russell Wayne Upton, 37, is charged with murder in the August 1995 death of 21-year-old Marilane Abueg.
Jurors told Judge Kerry Wells today that they were deadlocked 8-4 for guilt.
A status conference was set for tomorrow to determine whether prosecutors will seek to retry Upton.
Upton said he last saw his wife the night of Aug. 17, 1995, when she failed to return home from a walk after they argued over money. Abueg's body was found a week later off Kitchen Creek Road in Pine Valley.
Prosecutor Mark Pettine alleged Upton strangled or smothered his wife, but Deputy Public Defender Kevin Haughton said his client was innocent, telling the jury the victim walked out on the defendant and never came back, just like he told investigators.
Haughton said medical examiners could not determine a cause of death and there was no evidence that she was choked or strangled.
Upton volunteered information to detectives, such as the fact that his relationship with his wife was volatile and that he had hit her in the past, Haughton told the jury.
Haughton said detectives failed to interview family members, co-workers or neighbors who may have seen or heard something the day Abueg disappeared.
In his opening statement, Pettine said Upton was controlling and manipulative and that he had physically assaulted his spouse more than once.
Upton, who was 20 when his wife disappeared, was arrested in March 2010 after being re-interviewed by investigators.
He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Search volunteers on Thursday went door-to-door in Scripps Ranch hoping to turn up any clues that may lead them to a man who went missing one week ago.
Extreme heat came to the deserts again Thursday, but temperatures in the rest of inland San Diego County were somewhat lower than they had been for the past few days.
Starting Thursday, Uber users in San Diego will be charged a fee if they keep their driver waiting more than two minutes.
The CBS News 8 Crimefighters are helping authorities in a manhunt looking for Terrance Christopher Stahovich. If you have information call CrimeStoppers at (888) 580-TIPS. A reward is being offered for his arrest and remember you can make a tip and still remain anonymous.
The San Diego Zoo said Thursday that its collection of African penguins has begun moving to the Africa Rocks exhibit, which is scheduled to open to the public in phases beginning next week.
A Chula Vista man faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10 million fine following his guilty plea Thursday to trying to smuggle cocaine and methamphetamine while employed as a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
Residents are concerned at a local dog park after at least one dog got sick and died after spending time there.
The San Diego Follies is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a show called the "Best of the Best."
A Lincoln Park resident was wounded outside his home Thursday in a shooting carried out by an unidentified assailant, San Diego police reported.
The "Black Knights'' of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 and the "Blue Hawks'' of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 78 returned home to Naval Air Station North Island Thursday following a six-month deployment.