Jury in DeLong trial deliberates for 3rd day

September 20, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

The jury in Jason Aaron DeLong's first-degree murder trial was sent home after deliberating for more than seven hours yesterday, the third day they have had the case.

The panel of nine women and three men, which sat through almost four weeks of sometimes tedious testimony, was expected to return this morning to resume deliberations.

Mr. DeLong, 19, of Westminster is charged with fatally stabbing his mother, Cathryn Brace Farrar, and her boyfriend, George William Wahl, in Ms. Farrar's Westminster apartment last summer.

Although he admitted to the killings, he has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. For most of the trial, Mr. DeLong's attorneys tried to persuade the jury that he should be found not criminally responsible for his actions.

Apparently, criminal responsibility is weighing heavily in the jury's deliberations, attorneys and observers say. It took prosecutors three days to present their case and defense attorneys about three weeks to put on theirs.

Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold said he would allow deliberations to proceed until the jurors come to a decision or until they convince him that they cannot reach a verdict. The judge said yesterday that several days of deliberations aren't unusual in this type of case.

If the jury is unable to reach a verdict, Judge Arnold would declare a mistrial.

If a mistrial is declared, prosecutors would decide whether to retry Mr. DeLong, who would remain in the county jail until that decision is made.

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