updated 7/28/2006 4:17:31 PM ET 2006-07-28T20:17:31

A judge declared a mistrial Friday after a jury said it was unable to reach a verdict in the case of a man accused of shoving a cell phone down his former girlfriend's throat.

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Marlon Brando Gill, 24, had been charged with first-degree assault for allegedly forcing the cell phone into the mouth of Melinda Abell, 25, on Dec. 23, while they were arguing in a car.

During five-day trial, Abell testified that she had been drinking that evening and did not remember how the phone ended up lodged in her throat. Gill said she tried to swallow it to prevent him from finding out whom she had been calling that night.

Abell was later taken to a hospital, where an emergency room doctor removed the phone.

Abell wrote in a statement to police after the incident: "I think he thought I'd been talking to other guys. ... He took my phone to see who I had been calling. ... If I didn't want him to see my phone, I would have just thrown it out the window and busted it."

Though she testified that she could not recall writing the statement, the statement was allowed as evidence.

Much of her testimony centered on her relationship with Gill, of Kansas City, which started in 2004. She testified that he had verbally and physically abused her, but under cross-examination she acknowledged she never told police about the abuse and continued to live with Gill until the cell phone incident.

Prosecutors did not comment on the possibility of retrying the case.

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