Judge could declare mistrial for cops' case - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Judge could declare mistrial for cops' case

by Janjeera Hail

Guam - A mistrial may very well be declared Tuesday on some of the criminal charges against eight police officers and two civilians as the jury remains deadlocked in the case.  Jurors have reached a verdict on a majority of the charges, but they are unable to reach a consensus on some of the other ones.

Eight officers and two civilians are accused of being involved in a conspiracy to cover-up the alleged beating of Owen Moni and several other arrestees in November of last year at the Dededo Precinct.  Jurors have been deliberating for going on three weeks now after they spent more than three months sitting in a courtroom listening to various witnesses' testimony and reviewing evidence presented in the case.

But it's apparent the jury cannot reach a decision on some of the criminal charges.  Defense Counsel Curtis Van De Veld said, "The note that he received today at 3:15pm clearly stated that they felt that they were absolutely deadlocked and unable to move forward."

At a hearing this afternoon, Superior Court Judge Vern Perez said he will call the jury in tomorrow morning and ask each juror whether they reasonably believe a verdict can be reached.  "If any of them says they don't believe they are hopelessly deadlocked then he may send them back into deliberations for a period of time," Van De Veld added.

If not, Judge Perez said he will declare a mistrial on those charges and deliver verdicts for the charges that have been decided upon.

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