Mistrial Looms in Astor Trial After 19 Weeks

Jury showing signs of strain after 19 Weeks
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2009 2:51 PM CDT
Assistant District Attorney Joel Seidemann gives closing arguments at State Supreme Court , Monday, Sept. 21, 2009 in New York.   (AP Photo/Steven Hirsch, Pool)
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(Newser) – After a 5-month trial, the jury deciding the fate of Brooke Astor’s son may be at the breaking point. One juror wants out because she fears for her personal safety, the judge revealed today, a day after he felt compelled to deliver a pep talk in court urging jurors to "hang in there a bit longer." If Justice A. Kirke Bartley has to dismiss the juror, it would mean a mistrial. The jury is in its 10th day of deliberations.

"A juror feels personally threatened by comments made by another juror," said Bartley. She is believed to be a 46-year-old lawyer seen crying in court yesterday when the judge admonished jurors to be "respectful" of one another. Astor's son, Anthony Marshall, and his friend are accused of pilfering from the late philanthropist's huge estate.