A mistrial delays a Camden Co. man’s murder trial for the 9th time

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 9:20 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The murder trial of a Camden County man has been delayed for the ninth time.

Steven Endsley is accused of killing a 27-year-old Danielle Smith and her 61 year-old mother, Theresa Jackson nearly five years ago.

“He’s can’t walk away from this, said Danielle Smith’s sister, Heather Smith.

Endsley was charged with two counts of first degree murder back in 2016. His trial was set to begin Monday.

“The prosecuting advocate called me and said I’m sorry there was a mistrial, somebody spoke up and said something in jury selection and tainted the whole entire jury,” she said.

Endsley is accused of stabbing Danielle Smith and strangling her Teresa Jackson, then burning down their mobile home with their bodies inside.

She says this latest set back is devastating.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. Then it was instant nausea,” said Smith.

Before the women were killed authorities say Endsley harassed them, though an order of protection was not filed. Police reports indicate that Endsley didn’t agree with Danielle Smith’s lifestyle. Prosecutors argue that he wanted to kill her because she was gay.

“She was always worried that God didn’t love her because she was gay. But she was loved by everybody and it had nothing to do with sexuality,” said Heather Smith.

She says her little sister is constantly on her mind.

“She sat on my motorcycle and was so ecstatic because her feet could touch the floor and she was holding it up on her own. 27 years old didn’t even get a chance, she was trying so hard to make a life for herself. When she was finally starting to get somewhere he took it,” said Smith.

This case was already moved from Camden County to Laclede County. Now, the judge is working to move the proceedings, again in hopes of finding a larger, impartial jury pool.

Prosecutor Caleb Cunningham says the state doesn’t want any further delays.

“Knowing that they’re trying to do it the right way, is a little bit more comforting. But it’s still frustrating regardless,” said Smith.

She says she’s committed to seeing this through.

“I will not stop. I will not stop until they get what they get, their justice,” she said.

Smith says she wants Endsley to know his actions have consequences.

“There’s a special place in hell for someone like you. You will not get away with this. I hope you’re ready for the rest of your life in prison because you will go nowhere,” she said.

Endsley will be back in court on July 6. That’s when a new trial date s expected to be set.

This case was filed without the death penalty as a sentencing option.

If convicted Endsley will spend the rest of his life in prison.

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