Jury deliberating Ira Hatch case released for the weekend

VERO BEACH — Having failed to reach a verdict on the 45 felony counts against Ira Hatch after nearly a full day of deliberation, the six-person jury has been released for the weekend.The jurors will return at 9 a.m. Monday to begin a second day of reviewing the charges against the disbarred attorney. Before retiring for the afternoon from the bench, Senior Judge James Midelis cautioned the jurors not to work on or talk about the case during the break. He also told them not to visit any of the places talked about during the six-week trial or to look up any maps of places mentioned.”Jurors must not conduct any investigation of their own,” Judge Midelis said.He explained that this includes newspapers or internet reports.”Just as you must not talk about this case face to face, you must not talk about this case via electronic device,” Judge Midelis said.Judge Midelis emphasized that even the closest family members are no exception to these rules and that jurors should not discuss the case with anyone.”I know I’ve read to you several times, but it’s a long weekend so hopefully that reinforces it,” he said.Hatch faces 45 felony charges of theft, racketeering and money laundering. He was arrested on Jan. 11, 2008 and has been in jail in lieu of $3 million bail since his arrest.

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