Patel jurors break off work until Monday

September 15, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

After a second day of apparently raucous deliberations, jurors in Alpna Patel's manslaughter trial failed to reach a verdict yesterday and will resume sorting through the evidence Monday.

Baltimore Circuit Judge John N. Prevas told jurors to deliberate into the night yesterday, but about 6:30 p.m., the jury of 10 women and two men told Prevas in a note from the forewoman that they could reach "no fair decision."

Prevas also denied a motion for a mistrial from defense attorney Edward Smith Jr., because of allegations that a juror was "calling all over town" asking friends' opinion on the case. Prevas determined the source of the allegation was a former mental health patient who should not be trusted.

Patel, a Canadian dentist, is accused of stabbing her physician husband March last year after he fell asleep as she read him demands for saving their arranged marriage.

Jurors have deliberated about 12 hours since closing arguments ended Wednesday. They reviewed yesterday the videotaped testimony of Alpna Patel's father that dealt with her marriage.

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