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Sharp retrial to begin Monday


David Miller



STARKVILLE -- The retrial of Leslie Sharp's murder case is set for Monday at the Oktibbeha County Courthouse. 


The first trial ended May 21 after a juror hyperventilated during deliberations and needed to be transferred to the hospital by ambulance. 


Because the final alternate juror had been dismissed, Oktibbeha County Circuit Court Judge Lee Howard declared a mistrial. The decision came in the middle of the jury's nearly three hours of deliberation. 


The first trial included four days of emotional testimony. 


Sharp, 21, is accused of murdering Christopher Cole on Nov. 10, 2008, when she and three women confronted him on Kelly Road in Oktibbeha County. Cole was dating one of the three women and attempting to date another, prompting the confrontation. Sharp, who was along for the ride, claims she shot and killed Cole in self-defense when he became enraged at the women. 


She said he pulled a gun and shot once in the air. When Sharp drew her weapon, she claims Cole pointed his gun at her and began pulling the trigger. After Cole's weapon misfired, Sharp claims she opened fire, mortally wounding Cole. Sharp fired 10 shots, hitting Cole seven times. 


Sharp was initially charged with manslaughter, but a grand jury issued a murder indictment because of Sharp's relationship with Cole, and subsequent conflict Cole had with two of Sharp's friends. 


The three eye witnesses to the shooting testified in May that it was murder. 


Motion hearings began for the retrial on Aug. 29 and concluded Sept. 14, during which Sharp's attorney Jackson Browne filed a motion to dismiss because of double jeopardy, though a verdict was never reached in the case. Judge Howard turned down the request. 


Jury selection is expected to begin Monday.




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