Update: Guilty verdict reached, then reversed, in David Chalue murder case
SPRINGFIELD - A guilty verdict in the murder trial of David Chalue was quickly reversed on Thursday afternoon after one of the jurors said she did not support it.
Shortly after 3 p.m., the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all counts against Chalue - three counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping and witness intimidation.
Chalue's family members wept loudly as the verdicts were read in Hampden Superior Court. Chalue listened to the verdict with his head held high and his jaw clenched.
After Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder had thanked the jurors for their services and they began to leave the courtroom, defense attorney Donald W. Frank asked to poll the jury. The first juror polled was a woman whose face had been red and who seemed upset when she first walked into the courtroom before the verdict was read. When asked if she agreed with the verdicts, she answered "no." At least one other female juror was openly crying during the reading of the verdict.
Declaring that the verdict was not unanimous, the judge instructed the jury to resume deliberations. He rejected a motion by Frank to declare a mistrial. Chalue seemed a little shocked and then upbeat after the verdict was reversed.
Moments later, the juror in question was brought into the courtroom, where she spoke with the judge at sidebar before returning to the jury room. The jurors continued deliberating until 6 p.m. and had been at it for close to nine hours by the time they left for the day. Over four days they have deliberated for nearly 25 hours.
They will continue deliberating on Friday.
The jury had been quiet all day, with no questions for the judge until just after 2 p.m. when they sent out a note that dealt with whether a victim of witness intimidation had to be a part of an ongoing investigation or court case to fit the elements of the charge or could be a witness to a crime in progress. The answer was that a victim did not have to be part of an ongoing court proceeding. They came back minutes after receiving the answer with the guilty verdicts that were then reversed.
Chalue is accused of helping Adam Lee Hall and Caius Veiovis kidnap, torture, kill and dismember David Glasser, Robert Chadwell and Edward Frampton in August 2011.
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