Hale jury goes home without a verdict

Deliberations will continue Monday

A federal jury finished a second day of deliberations Friday without reaching a verdict in the federal trial of white supremacist Matthew Hale on murder-solicitation charges.

Deliberations are scheduled to resume Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

“We want to make sure we’re as fair as possible,” one juror explained in court before Judge James Moody dismissed them for the weekend with admonitions to avoid media coverage of the case.

Hale, the “Pontifex Maximus” of the former World Church of the Creator, is charged with twice soliciting the murder of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow in anger over her order for the church to change its name after it lost a trademark-infringement lawsuit.

One note written on behalf of the jury Friday questioned the meaning of one key legal instruction in the case.

To convict in one of the murder solicitations, the government must prove in part that Hale “solicited, commanded, induced or otherwise endeavored” to persuade informant Anthony Evola to kill Lefkow.

Jurors questioned if they had to find Hale took all four of those actions or just one. Though Hale’s lawyers disagreed, Moody wrote a note back saying jurors must agree unanimously on at least one of those actions.

Jurors had previously been given a transcript of the testimony of former Hale follower Jon Fox, who in addition to Evola alleged Hale had solicited him to kill Lefkow.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Chicago Tribune, USA
Apr. 24, 2004
Matt O'Connor

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday April 24, 2004.
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