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Local News in Brief : Jury Struggling in Bombing Death

The Los Angeles federal court jury deliberating in the trial of two people accused in the 1980 bombing death of a Manhattan Beach woman said Wednesday that it was unable to reach a verdict, but the judge told the panel to continue its deliberations.

The panel sent a note to U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian Jr. after 2 1/2 days of deliberations, saying it was deadlocked on the charges against wealthy Hawthorne real estate broker William Ross, 52, and Rochelle Ida Manning, 48, a Los Angeles-born woman with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship.

The two are accused of arranging the mailing of a bomb that exploded on July 17, 1980, killing Patricia Wilkerson, a Manhattan Beach secretary who died when a parcel she opened exploded. Prosecutors said the bomb’s intended target was the dead woman’s boss, Brenda Crouthamel, who had sued Ross in a real estate dispute.

Tevrizian called the jury into court and ordered it to continue deliberations, cautioning jurors that a retrial would be expensive and time-consuming.

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The panel did not indicate how it was deadlocked on the two charges against the defendants--aiding and abetting and mailing an explosive device with intent to kill.


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