KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a 44-year-old southwestern Michigan charged with murder in the slaying of his 88-year-old neighbor.

Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge Pamela L. Lightvoet declared the mistrial Tuesday, saying several jurors admitted to researching the case on their own despite instructions not to. Jurors had deliberated two days.

Prosecutors accused Todd Maneke of Kalamazoo of killing Alfred Minka in August 2013. Minka was found dead on the floor of his apartment. Forensics experts testified that Minka had been hit in the back of the head several times with a hammer or similar object.

Assistant County Prosecutor Steven McLaughlin and defense attorney Michael Hills said they agreed with Lightvoet’s decision.

Maneke will have a new trial. It’s scheduled to begin Jan. 18.


This story has been corrected to show Maneke is 44, not 43.