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Racial Case Jury Ends Sixth Day of Deliberations

December 16, 1987|United Press International

NEW YORK — The jury weighing the fate of four white youths accused of chasing a black man to his death on a busy highway spent a sixth day of deliberations Tuesday honing in on the last seconds of his life.

A court reporter read back testimony of the state's key witness, Robert Riley, who was the only person to place the four defendants at the heels of Michael Griffith, 23, when he dashed onto the highway Dec. 20 in Howard Beach, Queens. Griffith was struck by a passing car and killed.

Jason Ladone, 17, and Michael Pirone, 18, were charged with second-degree manslaughter. Scott Kern and Jon Lester, both 18, were charged with second-degree murder.

The jury ended the day's deliberations without reaching a verdict. Court officers planned to drive each of the panelists, who have been sequestered, home to pick up fresh clothing.

The jury planned to resume at 9 a.m. today by continuing to listen to a reading of testimony by Riley as he underwent cross-examination by defense lawyers. Riley, 18, also was indicted in the case but testified for the government.

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