It took 32 years to get the 1981 criminal charge against Thor Hansen to court, four hours to try the case and 6 1/2 hours of jury deliberations to find him guilty.
Hansen, 68, who acted as his own attorney until the closing minutes of trial, was convicted Thursday of jumping bond for walking out of
His rambling defense theory was that he was the victim of a
Hansen argued he acted under duress when he fled to his native
Jurors said they found it "tough" to reach a decision, partly because the allegation was more than 30 years old.
During deliberations they asked questions that revealed they considered whether Hansen believed – in his own mind – that his family was in imminent danger. U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas told them the law said the legal standard was what a reasonable person would believe.
Hansen's standby lawyer, Joseph Chambrot, who took over handling the case at the last minute and delivered a closing argument that artfully summarized Hansen's scatterbrained thoughts, said he will appeal the verdict.
"As far as Mr. Hansen is concerned, this is not over," Chambrot said. "If re-tried with proper defense counsel, I think he would be acquitted."
Hansen, formerly of
Hansen reacted to the verdict with a slight nod, then shrugged at his girlfriend and a supporter who's collaborating with him on a screenplay about his life. He joked that he hopes to reunite the jurors from the 1981 case – who convicted him of the drug charges in his absence – to appear in a music video with him and country star