NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A jury has deadlocked in the murder trial of a mental patient who slashed a New York City psychotherapist to death with a meat cleaver.
A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday after jurors said they couldn’t reach a verdict in David Tarloff’s case. Tarloff didn’t dispute that he killed therapist Kathryn Faughey in February 2008.
The jury was in its tenth day of deliberations when it sent its third deadlock note to Judge Edward McLaughlin.
“I’m willing to say we are finished,” McLaughlin told the jurors, who were deadlocked from the start of deliberations.
Faughey’s six siblings were all in the courtroom to hear the bad news, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.
“It’s very disappointing for us, but we will be back until we get justice in this case for our sister,” said Owen Faughey, one of the victim’s brothers.
“We’ll do whatever it takes, and we will see justice, I’m sure of that,” said another, Michael Faughey.
Faughey, 56, specialized in helping people with relationships. She’d never met Tarloff, let alone treated him.
“We’re terribly disappointed that the jury could not reach a unanimous decision,” said defense attorney Frederick Sosinsky. “We believe this was a very powerful case for a ‘not responsible’ verdict, as rare as those verdicts might be.”
Tarloff, now 45, was diagnosed with schizophrenia during his college years. He has been hospitalized more than a dozen times, recounted seeing “Satan” spelled out in his mind and the “eye of God” on the kitchen floor and viewed pieces of paper on the street as a special message from God, according to court papers. His brother testified that he once came to find Tarloff naked and throwing eggs on the wall.
Defense lawyers said Tarloff’s schizophrenia made him so psychotic that he couldn’t tell that what he was doing was wrong.
Tarloff has been hospitalized 20 times. However, prosecutors said that while he is mentally ill, he should still be found guilty of murder.
This jury was hung up over Tarloff’s insanity defense and the claim that he was so crazy at the time of the killing that he can’t be held criminally responsible.
The judge said a new trial date is to be scheduled in the next four to six weeks. Faughey’s siblings vowed to attend the new trial.
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