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Whitworth Spy Trial Jury in Deliberations

July 12, 1986|Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Jury deliberations began Friday in the spy trial of Jerry Whitworth, a former Navy radioman charged with being the chief supplier of communications secrets to confessed Soviet spy John Walker's espionage ring.

The case went to the jury after two hours of instructions by U.S. District Judge John Vukasin, who told the panel to consider the testimony of Walker, the prosecution's chief witness, with "great caution."

Vukasin also told jurors that to convict Whitworth of espionage, they must conclude that he knew or had reason to believe his disclosures would help the Soviet Union or hurt the United States.

The jury adjourned its deliberations Friday afternoon and was sent home for the weekend.

Whitworth, 46, of Davis, who retired from the Navy in 1983 after 18 years as a radioman, is charged with selling secrets on satellite communications systems, decoding equipment and code keys between 1974 and 1983 for $332,000 to the spy ring run by Walker.

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