Attack on Judge : Deadlocked Jury Told to Keep Trying

Times Staff Writer

A jury reported Friday that it was "hopelessly deadlocked" over the guilt or innocence of a man accused of trying to rape a Van Nuys Municipal Court judge, but the panel was ordered to return Monday to try to reach a verdict.

Stephen Andrew Weible, 28, of Tarzana is charged with kidnaping and attempted rape in connection with a Jan. 4, 1986, attack on Judge Leslie A. Dunn.

After deliberating more than eight hours Thursday and Friday, the jury reported a 9-3 deadlock to Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Alan B. Haber. Haber told the jury foreman not to disclose which direction the jury was leaning.

Haber noted the length of time it took to bring the case to trial and told the jury: "I'll ask you to do the best that you can . . . make an effort to try to reach a verdict, if you can do so."

Judge Testifies

Dunn testified during Weible's trial that Weible pulled her into a car near her Tarzana home. The judge, who had been jogging, said she opened the door and escaped.

Defense attorney Barry Levin argued that she mistakenly identified Weible. During closing arguments, he told the jury that Dunn, in her first description to police, said her attacker had green eyes, a scar on his face and a Middle-Eastern or Spanish accent. Weible has dark eyes, no scar and no accent.

Levin also noted that no physical evidence was found to link Weible to the attack. Weible's car contained none of Dunn's hair, no clothing fibers and no blood or fingerprints from the struggle. No fibers from the car were found on Dunn's clothing.

In 1982, Dunn had sentenced Weible to probation and psychiatric counseling after he pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of disturbing the peace. He had been charged with attempted rape in that case.

Authorities said the earlier case is not related to the 1986 attack on the judge.

For the Record Los Angeles Times Friday February 5, 1988 Valley Edition Metro Part 2 Page 11 Column 2 Zones Desk 2 inches; 45 words Type of Material: Correction The Times has incorrectly reported that Stephen Andrew Weible, whose trial on 1986 charges of kidnaping and attempted rape ended with a hung jury Monday, had been charged with attempted rape in 1982. Weible was charged with battery in 1982. As reported, he pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of disturbing the peace.
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