February 18, 2006

Jury stymied in LA priest abuse trial, may hear new arguments

San Francisco Chronicle

By LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent

Friday, February 17, 2006

(02-17) 16:21 PST Los Angeles (AP) --

The jury deliberating child molestation charges against a retired Roman Catholic priest said Friday they were deadlocked on four charges against him but reached agreement on one charge.

The single verdict they returned was kept sealed by Superior Court Judge Curtis Rappe, who ordered the jurors to return on Tuesday for further proceedings in the trial of Michael Wempe.

When the judge asked the jurors if there was anything he could do to help them reach a decision on other counts, they began to ask questions.

The judge said perhaps it would help if attorneys on both sides were allowed to present further arguments in an effort to answer the questions. He said he would consider allowing that.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2006 10:19 AM