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Jury Deliberations Start in Stalker Trial

After six months of testimony from more than 165 witnesses, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Wednesday began deliberations in the Night Stalker serial murder case.

“You must reach a just verdict regardless of the consequences,” Judge Michael A. Tynan told the jury of seven women and five men as they retired just before lunch to elect a foreman.

The judge estimated that it might take the panel one to three weeks to reach verdicts on each of the 43 felony counts against defendant Richard Ramirez, including 13 murders.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Phil Halpin, the lead prosecutor, generally agreed with Tynan’s estimate of the time the jury might take to deliberate, adding: “I don’t think the deliberations are going to be difficult.”

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“They’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Ray G. Clark, one of Ramirez’s lawyers. The jury will have at its disposal more than 8,000 pages of trial transcripts and 654 individual exhibits.

“I’m reasonably optimistic,” Clark said, adding that his client is “in a reasonably decent mood.”


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