- Few Southeast students face suspension, expulsion for sexual assaults, campus paper finds (4/25/17)5
- Perryville family organizing bone-marrow drive Friday for ailing 6-year-old boy (4/26/17)
- Woman battered after smashing boyfriend's meth pipe against wall, police say (4/25/17)1
- Pilot House goes smoke-free (4/23/17)10
- Temptations bassist dies after Cape Girardeau show (4/26/17)2
- Event includes the first public tour of 200-year-old Elmwood Manor (4/23/17)3
- BBB warns Jackson man's online business might not be legit (4/24/17)
- Cape couple turns their home into cozy, comfortable music venue (4/24/17)
- Cape councilman Bob Fox to run for mayor (4/21/17)5
- Sikeston man charged in shooting death of Cape man (4/23/17)
Jurors in Andersen trial need not agree on who committed crime
HOUSTON -- The judge in the Arthur Andersen LLP trial for obstruction of justice ruled Friday that jurors do not have to agree on who committed the crime as long as each of them believes somebody did.
U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon's decision, a victory for prosecutors, means the panel can disagree on which Andersen employee destroyed Enron Corp.-related documents last fall as long as all of them think someone "acted knowingly and with corrupt intent."
The ruling could remove a stumbling block for a jury that earlier this week told the judge it was deadlocked.
Harmon said she couldn't find a parallel case.
Following her ruling, lead Andersen attorney Rusty Hardin asked for a mistrial. Harmon denied the request.
The jury recessed for the night without reaching a verdict. They were to resume deliberations today.
Harmon's ruling ended two days of debate that began Thursday, when jurors issued a flurry of notes after declaring themselves deadlocked the night before. The most important of the notes to Harmon read:
"If each of us believes that one Andersen agent acted knowingly and with corrupt intent, is it for all of us to believe it was the same agent?" the jury's note Thursday said. "Can one believe it was Agent A, another believe it was Agent B, and another believe it was Agent C?"
Harmon's answer came on the ninth day of deliberations. She acknowledged that it appeared to be breaking new legal ground and appeared worried about her ruling.
"I'm kind of in a position of a case of first impression, which is terrifying for a district judge," Harmon said.
Earlier Friday, jurors heard requested excerpts from testimony by David Duncan, Andersen's former top Enron auditor who testified for prosecutors in an agreement stemming from his own guilty plea to obstruction of justice.