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Will Mom Be Tried Thrice for Driving Son and Friends to a 13-Year-Old's Fatal Stabbing?

Eva Daley maintains she did not know what the youths, who were gang members, were going to do that day five years ago, and a second jury deadlocked on murder charges against her.

A woman is due back in court next month to determine if she'll be tried a third time for driving her teenage son and his friends to a Long Beach park, where a 13-year-old boy was stabbed to death.

Jurors deadlocked late Wednesday in the second trial of Eva Daley, 35, who is charged with murder for the June 25, 2007, slaying of Jose Cano, who was stabbed nine times.

Daley remains jailed pending her next appearance in Long Beach Superior Court three weeks from now, on Jan. 3. The mother of three, Daley was convicted in October 2008 of second-degree murder for Cano's death and was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison.

But her conviction was reversed in a 2-1 ruling from a three-justice panel of California's 2nd District Court of Appeal, which found that the first jury was given an ``impermissibly ambiguous'' jury instruction.

``Because we cannot conclude from the record that the jury based its verdict against Daley on a legally valid theory, Daley's conviction for second- degree murder must be reversed,'' Associate Justice Laurie D. Zelon wrote in the August 2010 ruling, with Associate Justice Frank Y. Jackson concurring.

In a dissenting opinion, Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss wrote, ``I do not believe a reversal is appropriate.''

Daley's co-defendant Heriberto Garcia, who was 15 at the time of the crime, also was convicted during the first trial. He has unsuccessfully challenged his second-degree murder conviction and is serving a 15-year-to-life prison sentence.

Six other youths, including Daley's son, admitted a manslaughter charge in juvenile court and were sent to the California Youth Authority, where they can be held until the age of 25.

The appellate court justices noted in their ruling that Cano was among a group of gang members who had congregated at an apartment complex where Daley lived and that the group had yelled at residents and thrown lighted flares in their direction.

The justices also noted that Daley's son had been stabbed about six months earlier and that a witness saw Daley's son with Cano immediately before the stabbing, but did not know if Cano was responsible for the teen's injury.

During her first trial, Daley testified that she was intending to take the children home safe and didn't know what the youths were doing when they jumped out of her sport utility vehicle. She denied knowing that there was going to be a fight or that she had been out to get revenge for her son's earlier stabbing. She told jurors in her first trial that she did not learn about the killing until the next day, when she heard about it while attending a parenting class in which she had voluntarily enrolled.

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