Ellen Hanson walks after hung jury in Friday trial
By Savanna Burchett
In the retrial of the Hanson case, jury foreman Will White announced yet another hung jury! The vote was three to five, three believing she was guilty. Today, at the Lansing city courthouse, the Hanson case was retried. The prosecution began the trial by stating that Ellen Hanson was indicted because the intent was to cause great bodily harm. The crime was committed on January 20th, 2018. According to Samuel Hanson’s witness statement, the Hansons went out to dinner. The defense claimed that throughout the night, the bartender served them four or five rounds, with Mr. Hanson drinking more than his wife. The couple then had a heated argument, ending with both of them threatening each other, causing both to question their safety. Mrs. Hanson then left and walked home, afraid of riding with her intoxicated husband. On her walk home, she passed the street that her mother’s home was on, a safe place to which her mother had given her access whenever she wanted. When the prosecution asked Mrs. Hanson why she did not take safety in her mother’s home, she replied, “I felt no need to.” Mrs. Hanson said that Samuel had beaten before her before. However, he denied it, claiming, “I’ve never beaten my wife.” As both parties gave their closing statements, they both expressed their positions to the jury. The defendant, according to the prosecution, had control over the situation, had the intent to harm, had the ability to harm Mr. Hanson and had purposeful intent to harm him. They concluded by saying that Mrs. Hanson had control over the situation yet she chose to remain involved and not remove herself from it. The defense gave a strong response that Mrs. Hanson only did what she thought would protect her from her husband. She was afraid of her violent and aggressive husband and acted in self-defense. The prosecution’s final rebuttal was that Mr. Hanson counterfeited his testimony against his wife, and she really was scared. The defense finished by stating that Mrs. Hanson would have taken refuge at her mother’s home, less than a mile away if she would have known how abusive her husband would have been.