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Fresno jury signs wrong form, frees career criminal

Trials and ArbitrationJustice System
Man set free when Fresno jury signs wrong form; judge shocked

A Fresno jury allowed a career criminal to go free Wednesday after members accidently filled out a not-guilty form.

The judge, who was in complete shock, had no choice but to set defendant Bobby Lee Pearson free because the verdict had officially been entered into the public record, The Fresno Bee reported.

Jury members told the judge they were deadlocked and confused by the forms. Since there wasn’t a form for a deadlock, they signed the not-guilty form, The Bee reported.

Pearson, 37, and two co-defendants were accused of burglarizing an apartment in May 2013, stealing a video system and gun.

The homeowner caught the three and wrestled with one of them, The Bee reported.

One of the suspects took a plea deal, leaving Pearson and the other man to face trial. Pearson has felony convictions for corporal injury to a co-inhabitant, possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon, according to the report, which cited records.

"I can't believe it," Judge W. Kent Hamlin said in The Bee Report. “This has never happened to me in more than 100 jury trials that I have done."

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