Orie jury at 'impasse,' but will deliberate further on Sunday
By Bobby Kerlik
Published: Saturday, March 24, 2012,
An hour after sending a note to the judge saying they were at a "serious impasse" in deliberations, Allegheny County jurors deciding the fate of state Sen. Jane Orie ceased deliberations for the night and will begin again tomorrow morning.
The jury of five men and seven women has deliberated about 27 hours over three days. They left the courthouse at 8 p.m. to eat dinner and will then retire to a hotel where they have been sequestered since Thursday night.
The jury sent Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning a note at 6 p.m. saying they could not agree on a unanimous verdict. The judge told the jury to reconsider and sent them back for further deliberations. The note — which came after nine hours of deliberations Saturday — said the jury had reached a "serious impasse" in their discussions.
Juror No. 6, a man, had a red face and wiped tears from his eyes in the courtroom when the judge brought the 12 in for a meeting. During a previous break when the jurors were allowed to go outside in the courtyard, the same juror had his face in his hands as he sat on a bench.
Orie's attorney, William Costopoulos, objected to the judge sending the jury back for deliberations, saying he was reluctantly asking for a mistrial.
Two jurors asked the judge questions in the courtroom. One juror asked if the jury has to agree on guilty or not guilty on every count. The judge answered they must be unanimous on every count for a conviction or an acquittal.
Another juror asked if portions of the trial transcript could be read back to them. The judge denied that request and also denied a request for a dictionary.
Orie, 50, sat at the defense table, looking at the jury as members asked questions. The McCandless Republican is facing 24 charges stemming from two cases.
She is accused of directing her state-paid staff to do political work on state time for her and her sister, Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, 55, of Marshall.
The senator is also accused of forging evidence that led to a mistrial during her first trial last March.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: These Penguins an inside job
- Merchant Marine president addresses flagpole concerns at council meeting
- Council honors colleagues who bid farewell
- Penguins winger Neal refining game, attitude
- Short-handed Penguins get win over Rangers
- Some Steelers players see stretch run of season as opportunity
- Steelers notebook: Packers RB Lacy unfazed by Tomlin’s ‘easy decision’ comment
- Oakbridge, Newport students unite to fight for their education
- $140 gets Wexford man a million-dollar Picasso piece
- South Buffalo planning commission signs off on natural gas projects
- Connellsville wrestlers dominate Thomas Jefferson