Murder Jury Deadlocks

Remains Undecided on Multiple Counts

A Santa Barbara jury has been sent back to the deliberation room after informing the judge they are split on murder and attempted murder charges against four people alleged to have attacked 16-year-old Lorenzo Carachure and his two friends in July 2007.

The jury foreperson told Judge Brian Hill (sitting in for Judge Clifford Anderson, who is dealing with a family matter) they were split 11-1 on murder charges against all four defendants—Ruben Mize, Raul Diaz, Bryan Medinilla, and Ricardo Nava. Additionally, the jury was split 9-3 on both attempted murder charges. Procedure doesn’t allow for the jury to indicate whether the split was leaning toward guilty or not guilty.

The jury, however, has reached a verdict on the other two counts—one a charge against all four for being members of a criminal street gang, and the other an attempted murder charge against Mize—but those verdicts have yet to be read in open court.

Hill asked the jurors one by one if there was anything the court could do in terms of giving further instructions or feedback, and there was near consensus that a further distinction between first-degree murder and second-degree murder could prove helpful. The jurors had already submitted a similar inquiry earlier in their deliberation—which has been going on since 6/24—but the difference is still a source of some confusion it appears.

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