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Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida • Page 18
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Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida • Page 18

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

lfH Fori IjiiiWHjU Nmi anil Stin-Switinrl, Stinda. Alien 15. 1976 After 10 Ansrv Hours Jury Acquits, Truglia Sobs vers and the rurv. In the hall, a huge an elderly man, was an Orthodox Jew crowd was waiting to slap Truglia on the back. The glare of TV lights turned night into day.

Friday the 13th had less than half an hour to run. Truglia was half carried by his lawyer and his wife. He looked dazed. Someone edged up to him and said. "You're free, Pat You're free buzz.

Luppino hugged his sister and Truglia sat sobbing, his head on his held his breath. attorney's shoulders. "On Count the murder of Robert Prosecutor Garrett walked slowly Raymond the clerk had across the room and shook hands difficulty reading the last two words. ltn the defense attorney. "Nice She held the paper closer, squinted, Charlie," he said, and then read "Not Guilty." Rich looked up slowly.

His eyes A roar went up in the courtroom, were moist. "This is a good one to People rose to their feet cheering, bow out on, Gene," he said. They applauded the jurors wildly. The judge congratulated the law- What Makes POOLS different from the volver. Most of the jurors thought that a natural mistake to make in the turmoil of the moment.

But the four wondered and held out. At 5 30 Tyson called the jurors back into the courtroom. They had been in court since 9 30 a m. and deliberating since 1 m. Would they like to go to the Governors' Club for dinner? They couldn't make up their minds.

They went back into the jury room and argued about that for IS or 20 minutes, the defense counsel held his head and sighed "Good God, now we've got a jury deadlocked on whether to eat!" They decided to eat later. It did no good. After Yankee pot roast and mashed potatoes, they seemed even angrier. The shouting from the jury room Increased. At 10:30 p.m., the foreman announced they were hopelessly deadlocked.

The defense moved for a mistrial because of a hung jury. Tyson denied the motion and sent the jurors back. A move was made to sequester them for the weekend. Tyson wanted to send them home and bring them back for more deliberations on Monday. But he began leaning toward sequestering.

A new problem arose. From the jury room came word that one juror, and insisted on going to temple in the morning. "We can arrange to drive him to his temple if you sequester them," said the prosecutor. Tyson shook his head. "What of the II Christians?" he asked.

"What good is sequestration if we have to take all of them to church Sunday where they ill hear people talking about the case?" At 11:30 p.m., a buzzer sounded from the jury room. A bailiff looked in and reported they had reached a verdict Mary Lou Truglia lowered her head and prayed. The jurors filed in. They looked grim. One woman member bit her hp.

She appeared angry. But one elderly man looked toward Truglia and smiled. The foreman handed the verdict to a bailiff, who showed it to the judge. The judge read, smiled, handed it to his clerk and she began to read, slowly. "On Count 1, the murder of James Capotorto Not Truglia began to sob.

His wife caught her breath and murmured, "Dear God!" "On Count 2," the clerk went on, "the murder of Wayne Bruce Neeld Not The packed courtroom began to test? i Continued From Pagt l'A "If he attacked my wife, I'd have killed him, too," the lawyer said. "Only I would have used i bawoka on him because he was a tremendous size." A woman juror said she thought the defense attorney was marvelous actor, lie even let a tear roll down a chit as he ended his rWa with "Send this man home to his wife and children. He has suffered more than enough at the hands of organized crime. Send him send him home." She said, "He missed his calling, that lawyer. He should have gone to Hollywood." But she agreed with his arguments.

Still, Rich presented no defense witnesses. He said he didn't need any. What she didn't know- was that no one in the courtroom probably knew as much about Big Jim Capotorto as did Charlie Rich. He had been Capotorto's lawyer for years. Big Jim allegedly threatened to kill him once.

The hours passed and the jurors argued on. The four conviction hold-outs were impressed that Truglia hid a under the table. Doesn't that premeditation, they asked? Another juror reminded them of the jijdge's instructions on the law. Broward Circuit Judge Robert W. Tyson Jr.

had told them that a man, in his own home, has the right to meet deadly force with deadly force Id save his own or his loved one's lives, He need not retreat. And, Tyson told them, if that man has received prior threats, he has the right to arm himself and take whatever precautions he feels neccessary fur his defense. But, the four holdouts would not give in. They asked to hear again the testimony of Officer Robert R. Campbell, of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, who was one of the first policemen to arrive in the bloodstained room on NW 15th Street and talk to Truglia.

It was read back to them by the court clerk. They heard again Campbell's words, how he saw Mary Lou Truglia lying on the floor, her mouth smeared with blood and her tooth chipped off. She was hysterical, the young officer said. 'They heard him relate Truglia's admission at the scene. It hardly varied from the defendant's later statements, and he was "highly upset" at the time.

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