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Seattle jury may be deadlocked

A procedural question from the jury in the trial of the alleged Seattle Jewish federation gunman suggests it may be deadlocked.

Judge Paris Kallas on Wednesday did not answer one of the two questions: whether jurors should move from deliberating the murder charge to the first of five counts of attempted murder. She did, however, tell the jury to deliberate any of the 15 charges against Naveed Haq in any order they see fit.

The jury began its deliberations Sunday to decide whether Haq, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the shootings of six women at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle in July 2006, should be convicted of aggravated murder in the death of 58-year-old Pamela Waechter. That finding would result in an automatic life sentence for Haq.

During testimony, which ended May 24, the prosecution argued that Haq, who has struggled with mental health issues, had spent several days preparing for the attack, including conducting Internet searches on Jewish organizations and purchasing firearms.

The defense focused on whether Haq’s state of mind at the time of the shootings allowed him to tell right from wrong, and whether side effects from the drug regimen psychiatrists had placed him on had caused manic episodes. Washington law narrowly defines insanity in criminal defense proceedings.

Haq did not take the stand.

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