Mistrial declared in bicycle death case

Port Townsend man facing vehicular homicide in critical condition

PORT TOWNSEND — A mistrial has been declared in Jefferson County Superior Court after a Port Townsend man on trial for vehicular homicide and driving under the influence allegedly attempted suicide.

Judge Keith Harper dismissed the jury Tuesday morning, citing a medical emergency, according to court records.

A status conference to determine next steps has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 8.

Before the jury entered the room Tuesday, defense attorney Richard Davies told the court that the defendant, Patrick Cleon McConnell, tried to kill himself, court records state.

McConnell, 64, was listed in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle as of Tuesday afternoon, hospital spokesperson Brian Donohue said. McConnell had been airlifted to Harborview earlier in the morning.

McConnell is on trial for the March 2018 death of bicyclist Marcus Henthorn, an artist who served on the city of Port Townsend’s transportation advisory board.

Prosecutors say McConnell was driving his maroon Hyundai Sonata eastbound on 19th Street, the same direction two bicyclists were traveling in a marked bike lane.

Charging papers state McConnell turned in front of Henthorn at the intersection at 19th and Landes streets, and Henthorn flew over his handlebars as he tried to brake. He hit the rear passenger side of McConnell’s car before he landed on the ground head-first.

Henthorn was wearing a helmet but was unresponsive as responding police officers performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to the police report.

Firefighter/paramedics from East Jefferson Fire-Rescue continued live-saving measures when they arrived, and Henthorn regained a pulse about 10 minutes later, the report stated.

Henthorn was flown in critical condition to Harborview, where he died a day later. He was 75.

Davies addressed the court at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday and said McConnell had attempted suicide Monday night. He filed a motion for a mistrial and said McConnell had been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said McConnell’s sister called him at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday from McConnell’s residence, where she found him responsive and called for aid.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Julie St. Marie confirmed to the court that the information was accurate, records state.

Davies noted McConnell’s lack of criminal history as the failure to appear was entered into the court record.

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Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].

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