After the jury foreman told Circuit Judge James L. Roberts Jr. that further deliberations would make no difference, Roberts declared a mistrial about 8:15 p.m. The case went to the jury about 2:50 p.m. on Friday.
The courtroom was nearly filled with family and friends of both parties, and numerous law enforcement officers were present to keep order.
Roberts said the court will tentatively look at scheduling a new trial in the case for Oct. 27.
Nall, 59, continues to be free under the original $15,000 bond.
A grand jury returned an indictment against Nall for sexual battery in 2013 for penetration with a finger of a girl who was six and seven years old during the time period of the alleged offenses, which the prosecution said occurred at the County Road 105 home of Thomas and Marcia Mauney, the child’s grandparents. She attended Farmington Baptist Church, where Nall recently resigned as pastor.
There was no new testimony presented on Friday as the defense rested its case at the beginning of the day. Both the child and Nall testified during the trial.
In closing arguments, Defense Attorney Phil Hinton said the state’s case had "no corroboration whatsoever" of the now eight-year-old girl’s story and "not one iota of evidence."
Throughout the trial, he said the child’s story was riddled with inconsistencies and changed over time.
The prosecution sought to cast doubt on the character of Nall, who came to Farmington Baptist Church in 2003.
"The mask has been removed ... He has been exposed," Assistant District Attorney April Braddock said in closing arguments.
She said he evaded questions he didn’t want to answer by saying he couldn’t recall, yet he could exactly describe the child’s position on his leg in the Mauney’s kitchen.
Braddock said it is curious that Nall described the Mauneys as occasional church-goers, yet he visited them "every day." She also questioned his motive for working part-time as a Census Bureau field worker, a job that takes him into people’s homes.
"When you take out the rabbit trail, all you’ve heard from the defense is his word is better than hers," said Braddock.
In motions preceding the trial, the state sought to introduce information about alleged prior acts of Nall involving other females, according to court records. None of these were discussed during the trial.
The kitchen table measuring 4 feet across, where all of the alleged abuse occurred, figured into both closing arguments.
"The only place he could hide in plain sight was in that room," said Braddock, who tried the case with Assistant District Attorney Greg Meyer.
Hinton again said it is absurd to believe the alleged scenario in which Nall would sit at the table with the child in his lap, with three or four other people in the room, and insert his finger into the child under the table without ever being noticed.
The indictment said the activity occurred from August 2012 to April 2013.
Although the child’s name is public record, the Daily Corinthian made an editorial decision not to publish it because of the sensitive nature of the case.