After almost three weeks of deliberations, a jury couldn't decide whether Sydney millionaire property developer Ron Medich had murdered his business foe.
The 69-year-old had denied claims he financed the contract killing of Michael McGurk and directed his former friend Lucky Gattellari to organise the September 2009 shooting.
He also denied intimidating Mr McGurk's widow in August 2010.
After hearing seven weeks of evidence and deliberating for almost three weeks, Justice Geoffrey Bellew discharged the NSW Supreme Court jury on Thursday afternoon after they indicated they could not reach a verdict.
In a note, the jury shared details of several votes they had taken which did not result in a unanimous decision, and said "this doesn't look likely to change".
Justice Bellew said the voting results the jury disclosed in the note were confidential but he did tell the court they wouldn't form the basis for a majority verdict.
He varied Medich's bail conditions by reinstating a requirement that he report to police each Monday, and stood the matter over for directions on May 1.
Medich did not react in court and told reporters outside: "I've got nothing to say."
It's not yet clear if the Department of Public Prosecutions will push for a retrial, but Medich's barrister Winston Terracini SC said in court it was almost certain.
Mr McGurk was shot in the head outside his Sydney home in Cremorne after he pulled up in his car with a takeaway meal he had just bought for his family.
His wife, Kimberley, also testified about a terrifying visit from a stranger who told her to "do the right thing", not be a thief like her husband and pay her debts.
Prosecutor Gina O'Rourke SC contended the relationship between Medich and Mr McGurk had become toxic, noting they were embroiled in legal battles involving millions of dollars.
She relied on the star Crown witness, Medich's former right-hand man Gattellari, who testified that the developer became more agitated and angry with his business foe in early 2009.
The millionaire complained that Mr McGurk had made him "the laughing stock of the eastern suburbs", was ruining his reputation and costing him a fortune in legal fees, Gattellari said.
He said when Medich told him to find someone "to take care of this guy", he asked him if he was sure about murder, saying "there's no going back".
"I am sure. I want him done," Medich allegedly replied.
Gattellari, now 67, said he twice went to Medich's Point Piper harbourside mansion and on each occasion, the developer gave him a bag containing $250,000 in cash.
The former boxing champion, Qantas steward and winery owner also recounted his efforts to organise the hit which eventually led to him and three other men being jailed over the murder.
He received a 60 per cent discount on his sentence after admitting his role and helping authorities.
Gattellari was charged late last year with trying to extort millions of dollars from Medich, allegedly to buy his silence.
Mr Terracini emphasised those new charges in his prolonged attack on Gattellari's credibility.
"This man is prepared to lie to anyone about anything to gain an advantage," he said.
He variously described Gattellari as a "wicked man" whose "tongue was dripping with lies", "a spiv", "a rip-off merchant" and "scum".
Ms O'Rourke acknowledged Gattellari "is never going to be awarded Australian of the Year" and was a man prepared to bend the rules - exactly the type of man you would want to arrange a murder and intimidation, she said.