Mistrial declared in second trial for suspect in murder of ECSU student

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BRIDGEPORT  — A jury remained deadlocked after a second trial for a man accused of killing and dismembering his former girlfriend, an Eastern Connecticut State University student whose body was found after a month long search.

Jermaine Richards was on trial after being charged with murder in the April 2013 killing of 20-year-old Alyssiah Wiley, a student at Eastern Connecticut State University who was from West Haven. Her partial remains were found in a wooded area in Trumbull about a month after she was last seen with Richards outside her dorm.

This is Richards second trial.  The first attempt to prosecute Jermaine Richards ended in a mistrial last year after the jury deadlocked.

On Thursday, Alyssiah Wiley's mother, Corrinna Martin, was sobbing in the courtroom after the jury announced it couldn't come to a decision. On Monday, Martin spoke to FOX 61, saying this entire ordeal has been "a nightmare I can't wake up from."

"They say 'time heals all wounds', but no. This is a constant wound that is constantly  getting salt poured upon it, along with lemon juice.  It really is that excruciating," Martin told FOX 61 on March 7, at the beginning of the new trial.

Last Thursday, jurors said they were deadlocked. The judge urged jurors in the minority to consider the opinions of those in the majority and to keep deliberating.

Martin had hoped for a different outcome this time around, but said even a conviction wouldn't take away her pain. She said, "It wouldn't be relief. It would just be another chapter."

Police say Wiley tried to break up with Richards, 32, via Facebook shortly before her death and he became upset.

Wiley was spotted on surveillance video that day getting into a car with Richards.

In Richards’ arrest warrant,  Richards told a friend in March 2013 that he would get rid of Wiley. When asked how, he replied, “Trust me. I’m a nurse.”

Richards denies killing Wiley and has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and murder.

A major roadblock for the jury has been that there is no concrete evidence or witnesses to the crime; the evidence is mainly circumstantial. Martin says that should not matter “because I know the type of person that he was before. And I know the type of relationship that she was in.”

Wiley was last seen alive when Jermaine Richards picked her up at Eastern, which was recorded on surveillance video from her dormitory.

“Even with circumstantial evidence, the facts are the facts,” said Martin. “He himself said he dropped her off. Then, no one hears from her after he claims he dropped her off?”

Martin says she last saw her daughter in person about a month before her disappearance. In the three years since her daughter's death, Corrinna Martin has turned her extreme pain into hope for others.

“Bringing awareness and reeducating all of us about the horrific affects of dating and to domestic violence,” said Martin, the founder of Mothers of Victims Equality, Inc., whose mantra is "you shall be heard."

“As long as I have breath, she's not silenced,” said Martin. “She will be heard and justice will be served. One way or another, justice will be served.”