Jury Can't Make Up Its Mind on Slain WABC Newsman
The Daily News reports that a Brooklyn jury is deadlocked in 18-year-old John Katehis' murder trial. The teenager, who was 16 at the time, is accused of murdering WABC radio personality George Weber during a kinky Craigslist romp in Weber's Carrol Gardens home.
Katehis' defense lawyer, Jeffrey Schwartz, argued that Weber was a predator who "lured" Katehis to his home with drugs, booze, and s/m play. Schwartz said his client killed Weber in self-defense after things got rough and Weber pulled out a knife.
But prosecutors have disputed that account, pointing out that it was Katehis who posted the sex ads online (Weber allegedly offered to pay him $60 to "smother" him) and that the violent nature of the crime (the city's medical examiner says Weber was stabbed 50 times) doesn't jibe with Katehis's self-defense story.
The jury now seems to be split on the issue: The News says the judge has given a final push to the jury to reach a verdict before he declares a mistrial, and that jurors have sent notes to the judge "[indicating] they were split and that some had firmly made up their minds"; asking for clarity on evidence, including crime scene forensics and the 45-minute videotape of Katehis's confession; and "a re-reading of the definition of reasonable doubt."