Posted Jun 15, 2009 11:40 am CDT
A Harvard law lecturer who taught a course on children at risk led the jury that convicted a would-be Rockefeller of parental kidnapping.
Jurors rejected an insanity defense in the case of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who was found guilty on Friday of kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter, Reigh, the New York Times reports. The jury foreman was Michael Gregory, TheBostonChannel.com reports. Gregory, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 2004, works in the law school’s Family and Children’s Law Unit on a project to address the special learning needs of children who have been abused, according to the school’s website.
Gerhartsreiter’s lawyer, Jeffrey Denner, told the Boston Globe he may seek an appeal as early as this week. Gerhartsreiter calls himself Clark Rockefeller and has been dubbed “Crockefeller” by some tabloids.
Denner had argued Gerhartsreiter believed he was able to communicate telepathically with Reigh, who told him she needed to be rescued, the Times says. He also argued that Gerhartsreiter really believed he was Clark Rockefeller and should not be convicted of giving a false name to police. “This is not a man playing with a full deck,” Denner had argued.
Jurors acquitted Gerhartsreiter of the false name charge, apparently on the basis of the defense argument, according to TheBostonChannel.com. “This was a complicated case and not as clear-cut as it might seem,” Gregory said in a statement read after the verdict.
Gerhartsreiter is also considered a person of interest in the 1985 disappearance of a California couple, the Associated Press reports.