Countywide : Kraft Jurors to Resume Deliberations Today


Jurors in the Randy Steven Kraft trial returned to their hotel Monday after a third day of deliberations, which they are to resume at 9 a.m. today.

Kraft, 44, is on trial in Santa Ana for the murders of 16 young men in Orange County. If he is convicted, his trial will move into a penalty phase during which prosecutors may try to link Kraft to as many as 29 other murders, including six in Oregon and two in Michigan.

Superior Court Judge Donald A. McCartin and his staff were in the courtroom to aid the jurors in case they asked for any clarifications of instructions, or to have any testimony read again. They had asked that a small amount of testimony be reread on Friday. Jurors deliberated Saturday until noon and then quit for the weekend.


McCartin has sequestered the jurors at a local hotel, over the objections of Kraft’s attorneys, to ensure that they will not be subjected to any outside influences during deliberations.

After nearly 8 months of testimony, courthouse observers have predicted that the jurors will be out at least a week, simply because of the sheer volume of testimony and the numerous charges involved. In addition to the 16 murder charges, Kraft is also charged with two counts of sodomy and one count of mayhem.

At the defense’s request, Kraft has been permitted to wait for the verdict in the holding cell just outside the judge’s chambers instead of the basement holding cell with other inmates brought over from the Orange County Jail for daily court appearances.