Is Jury Deadlocked in Trial of Attorney Accused of Plotting Contract Hit on Witness?
Posted Nov 21, 2011 12:37 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
A federal jury in Newark, N.J., has told the trial judge that it can't reach a decision in the case of attorney Paul Bergrin, who is accused of plotting a contract hit on a witness.
However, U.S. District Judge William Martini told the seven-man, five-woman panel to keep trying for an agreement, reports the Associated Press.
The jury has only been deliberating since Wednesday of last week.
“We the jury have taken numerous ballots and we are divided on both count one and count two,” the panel told Martini in a note today, reports the Star-Ledger.
The judge urged members of the jury to keep an open mind, reminding them that another panel would have to hear the case if they couldn't reach an agreement. He also volunteered to give them time off over Thanksgiving, if they wished, the article notes.
A previous ABAJournal.com post details the case against Bergrin, who is also facing a 31-count indictment in a federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. He is accused in that case, which is expected to go to trial later, of running his law firm as a criminal enterprise, along with a high-class prostitution business and working as an alleged supplier of kilo quantities of cocaine to a local gang.
Updated at 2:25 p.m. to include information from Star-Ledger.