Judge declares mistrial in case of teen's death, which occurred while on a hunting trip in Oceana County.
During testimony Thursday morning, a deputy testified regarding a report taken from the scene with the man charged with shooting 13-year-old, Billy Gort Jr. The report had never been received by the prosecutor or the defense, so the judge declared a mistrial as the report could have impacted their preparations for the trial.
The report and audio recording also never made it to the lead detective on the case with Michigan State Police.
Roger Hoeker was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter in the February 2017 shooting that killed Gort, that charge was later reduced to careless, reckless, or negligent discharge of a firearm causing death. The two were on a hunting trip in Oceana County with another boy.
Gort's family said they are disappointed about the mistrial, but understand why it's necessary.
"We have to wait a little bit longer before Billy gets his justice," said Tom Ambrose, grandfather of Billy Gort Jr.
"Very difficult, very painful - we are just hoping for a conviction."
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.