“We Build The Wall” lawsuit ends in a mistrial; deadlocked jury | Region

NEW YORK (AP) — The trial of a Colorado businessman accused of defrauding thousands of donors who contributed $25 million to a campaign to build a wall along the U.S. southern border ended Tuesday in a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict. .

A mistrial in the Timothy Shea charge was granted by U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres after the jury reported for the third time that he could not reach a verdict on all counts, saying the impasse was “amply clear”. They said protracted deliberations had left them “even more entrenched in our opposing views.”

Prosecutors have said they are ready to retry the case, although a new trial is unlikely before the fall.

Shea and her attorney made no comment as they left the courthouse.

After two previous notes last week pointed to a deadlock, the judge had urged jurors to try again.

Shea was left alone to stand trial after Steve Bannon, a former adviser to then-President Donald Trump, was pardoned. And two other defendants have pleaded guilty. The case was prosecuted in New York after it was determined that donors to the fund came from all over the country, including New York.

Conspiracy and document falsification charges against Shea were filed after questions arose over how donations were spent as part of a ‘We Build The Wall’ campaign that raised around $25 million dollars for a wall. Only a few kilometers of wall have been built.

Prosecutors said Shea and other fundraisers promised investors that all donations would fund a wall, but Shea and the others eventually pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars for themselves.

Lawyers for Shea maintained that he acted honorably regarding the fundraising campaign and did not commit a crime.

Shea, of Castle Rock, Colorado, owns an energy drink company, Winning Energy, whose cans featured a cartoon superhero image of Trump and claimed to contain “12 oz. liberal tears.

The dissension between the jurors was first revealed on Thursday when 11 jurors said in a memo to the judge that they were unanimously requesting that one juror be replaced with an alternate juror. They said the juror expressed anti-government bias and accused his fellow jurors of being liberals.

In response to the note, the judge questioned the juror in her locker room in the presence of lawyers from both sides.

Among his questions, Torres asked him if he had any biases or personal opinions that prevented him from being a fair and impartial juror.

He said no. So she left him on the jury.

After twice asking for a mistrial on Thursday, defense attorney John Meringolo renewed his request in writing Friday on many of the same grounds as the day before.

He said the jury violated rules of secrecy by revealing too much in her note asking for a juror to be disqualified, and he said the judge incorrectly referred to political opinions when she read them a so-called Allen charge intended to add new energy to the deliberations.

Meringolo said those instructions in light of what happened earlier Thursday could only have been understood as directed at the juror “and urging them to return a verdict.”

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Elna M. Lemons