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Deliberations delayed on penalty for Van Dam killer

Thursday, September 12, 2002

The AssociatedPress

SAN DIEGO -- Jury deliberations in the penalty phase of the trial of convicted child killer David Westerfield were suspended Wednesday due to a juror's illness.

Judge William Mudd said the jurors would resume their work Monday. The panel has deliberated about 14 hours over four days on whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison for Westerfield.

Last month, the jury found Westerfield, 50, guilty of kidnapping and killing his 7-year-old neighbor, Danielle van Dam, in February.

The judge ruled out the option of replacing the sick juror with an alternate. The female juror has irritable bowel syndrome and her doctor recommended she stay in bed through Thursday.

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