Nine out of 12 jurors in the Chad Smith child-molestation trial believe the jury is hopelessly deadlocked, they told Judge Christopher Wilson today.
The jury foreman said the panel is deadlocked 7-5 on “many counts.” He wasn’t asked whether the split favored a guilty verdict or acquittal. The jury, in a little more than seven hours of deliberation, was only able to reach a decision on three out of four misdemeanor counts of violating a restraining order. Smith also is charged with 12 felony counts of child molestation.
When Wilson polled the jury all but three male jurors said they considered the deadlock hopeless. But because that decision wasn’t unanimous, the jury was asked to return tomorrow morning to try again.
“I think that’s a good idea,” the foreman said. “We’re pretty stressed out today.”
Outside of court, defense attorney Andrea Sullivan was pessimistic that more discussions would lead to verdicts.
“I don’t see that big of a split becoming unanimous,” Sullivan said.
District Attorney Stacey Eads declined comment.
Smith, 44, is charged with molesting one girl from the time she was 9 years old until she was 14. The girl testified there had been hundreds of sex acts, including oral copulation, intercourse and sodomy. She said she first had sexual intercourse with Smith when she was 11.
Another girl testified Smith molested her on one occasion when she was spending the night at his home.
During her closing argument, Sullivan said the girls were lying. She also criticized the police investigation, saying the main victim should have received a sexual assault exam and evidence should have been collected from the couch where many of the alleged acts occurred.
The primary victim, Jane Doe One, testified she believed she was in love with Smith. She initially denied having a sexual relationship with him, but gradually revealed more and more details about the alleged abuse.
Prosecutor Eads, in her closing argument, said Doe One was deeply ashamed of the sex acts with Smith and had no reason to come to court and lie to a room full of strangers.
- Alleged Victims of Eureka Businessman, Substitute Teacher and Accused Child Molester Chad Smith Testify in Pretrial Hearing
- More Details Emerge During Accused Child Molester Chad Smith’s Preliminary Hearing; Arraignment Set for August
- Trial Date Set for Eureka Man Accused of Molesting Two Girls
- Another Delay in Case of Eureka Man Accused of Molesting Two Girls
- TODAY in COURT: Suspect in Arcata Plaza Stabbing Gets New Lawyer; Hearing Postponed for Woman Accused of Murdering Teen in Eureka Cemetery
- OBITUARY: Gregory A. Scott, 1963-2019
- CHAD SMITH TRIAL, DAY ONE: Opening Statements on First Day of Second Trial for Alleged Eureka Child Molester
- Closing Arguments in Chad Smith Child Molestation Trial; Case Goes to Jury; Court Roundup on Fisher, Tsarnas Cases