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Pellicano jury still trying to reach a verdict

Deciding on 78 counts in the case against the private eye and four co-defendants has tied up jurors for six days.

May 10, 2008|Carla Hall | Times Staff Writer

If you're wondering what will happen to Los Angeles private detective Anthony Pellicano, standing trial on federal criminal charges, the jury is still out. Literally.

Without reaching a decision, the jury has now spent six and a half days deliberating the fate of Pellicano and four co-defendants, who are collectively standing trial on 78 criminal counts.

Jurors have a hefty list of crimes to examine, including racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, wire fraud, computer fraud and wiretapping. Not all the defendants are charged with all the crimes, and some of the crimes are more challenging to decide than others. The verdict form they must fill out on Pellicano alone is 21 pages.

During their six-hour days, the jurors appear to be meticulously picking their way through the counts, regularly sending out written questions for U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer to answer.

They have requested playbacks of several recordings that contain conversations involving co-defendant Ray Turner, a former phone company technician charged with wiretapping and racketeering.

They also wanted to know how intent figured in the crime of honest services wire fraud, which is charged to Pellicano and co-defendant Mark Arneson, a former Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who admitted that he made thousands of unauthorized checks on law enforcement computer databases for the private detective.

On Thursday, jurors asked the judge whether an entity could be a co-conspirator. (Yes, they were told.) For the jurors to find Pellicano or others guilty of racketeering or conspiracy to commit racketeering, they must conclude that there was a criminal enterprise. Both counts ask the jurors to decide if Arneson, Turner, Pellicano or the Pellicano Investigative Agency were part of the enterprise.

The racketeering charge lists 79 acts of racketeering alleged by prosecutors. Jurors sent out a question to the judge Friday, asking if they needed to reach a finding on all the acts listed. The judge said they have to find any defendant guilty of only two acts to find that person guilty of racketeering -- but they still must go through the entire list of acts and try to reach a decision on each.

Deliberations resume Monday morning.

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carla.hall@latimes.com

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