Judge Declares Mistrial on Remainder of Bell Corruption Charges

By Olsen Ebright and Melissa Pamer
|  Thursday, Mar 21, 2013  |  Updated 4:03 PM PDT
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"Bell 6" Mugshots

AP Pool Photo/Los Angeles Times

George Cole, center, a former Bell City Council member, listens to the judge as a guilty verdict is read in his trial on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Los Angeles. Cole and four former elected officials Bell were convicted of multiple counts of misappropriation of public funds, and a sixth defendant was cleared entirely.

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"Bell 6" Corruption Trial Juror May Have Given Improper Verdict, Anonymous Note Says

A juror of the "Bell 6" corruption trial submitted an anonymous note to the judge saying the "pressure and stress" of deliberation may have led the jury to deliver improper verdicts. Tony Guinyard reports for NBC4 News at Noon on March 21, 2013.

Jury Ordered Back to Court Even After "Bell 6" Verdicts

Jurors were split when determining whether six former Bell City Council members misappropriated public funds. The judge sent the jurors back to deliberations after they were unable to reach consensus on several counts. Patrick Healy reports from Downtown L.A. for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 20,2013.
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A mistrial was declared Thursday afternoon on the remaining charges against five former Bell elected officials.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy had asked jurors to decide whether further deliberations would help break a deadlock on the remaining charges.

The judge noted, however, that based on a flurry of testy communications from the panel, "It seems to me that all hell has broken loose in the jury deliberation room."

The defendants had been convicted of counts related to the city’s Solid Waste and Recycling Authority, but acquitted on counts related to the Public Housing Authority.

The jury had deadlocked on charges related to pay for service on two additional boards.

On Wednesday, the jury had reached the following conclusions:

  • Ex-mayor Oscar Hernandez: guilty on five counts; not guilty on five counts. No verdict on 10 counts.
  • Former Councilwoman Teresa Jacobo: guilty on five counts; not guilty on five counts. No verdict on 10 counts.
  • Former Councilman George Mirabal: guilty on five counts; not guilty on five counts. No verdict on 10 counts.
  • Former Councilman Victor Bello: guilty on four counts; not guilty on four counts. No verdict on eight counts.
  • Former Councilman George Cole: guilty of two counts; not guilty on two counts. No verdict on four counts.

Former Councilman Luis Artiga was acquitted on all charges.

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