07
Sep 11

Stewart jurors could have deadlocked

Jurors who convicted Robert Stewart of murder in the second degree say there would have been a mistrial if panelists pushing for a death sentence had refused to budge. The 47-year-old Mass-murderer was sentenced to at least 146 years n prison for a shooting rampage two years ago which took the lives of seven elderly patients and a male nurse inside the Pinelake Health And Rehabilitation Center. One of the jurors, who declined to be identified, says he and others switched their votes from first-degree ot second-degree murder to avoid a mistrial. “If we had to walk out of there after the first day of deliberations,’ he said, “it would have been a mistrial.” Jurors seeking a verdict of murder in the second degree were swayed by arguments from lawyers for the defense that Stewart could not control his actions because of a combination of medication and mental illness. Stewart’s lawyers say they will appeal the verdict. In the meantime, District Attorney Maureen Krueger says she is satisfied with the sentence if not the verdict. Krueger says it was quote- “The hard work and absolute dedicat6ion of Prosecutors Peter Strickland and Tiffany Bartholomew that put Stewart behind bars for the rest of his life instead of in a mental ward.”
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