AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As officials from the court read the verdict from the jury, Bart Reagor’s family was gathered in the gallery, hugging each other and weeping, as they saw the defendant’s fate played out after a five-day trial.
On Friday, after nearly two days of deliberation and a portion of time where the jury was reported to be in deadlock, the jury announced its ruling in the Reagor trial in Amarillo Federal Court, stating that he was found:
- Not Guilty for count one of Bank Fraud;
- Not Guilty for count two of Bank Fraud;
- Guilty for count one of making false statements to a bank.
This comes after the jury in the case returned to Amarillo Federal Court Friday morning for its second day of deliberations after telling U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, the federal judge overseeing Reagor’s trial, that they were deadlocked late Thursday afternoon. Kacsmaryk encouraged the jury at that point to continue deliberations and reach a final verdict if possible. On Thursday, the jury heard closing arguments from both the prosecution and the defense and first went into deliberations at 10:15 a.m. Thursday.
On Friday morning, Kacsmaryk continued to encourage the jury to keep deliberating. At 2 p.m., officials from the jury let the court know, as well as the prosecution and the defense, that they continued to be deadlocked. Because of this continued deadlock, Kacsmaryk invoked a modified Allen Charge. This charge, spoken by Kacsmaryk to members of the jury in open court, urged the jury to continue deliberations for this case. Kacsmaryk stated that the Reagor case is an “important” one and that there is no more or any clearer evidence that can be given to the jury in this case.
Kacsmaryk stressed that they had a “duty to agree on a verdict,” stating that if they could not come to an agreement, the case would continue to be open and Reagor would continue to be under indictment.
“Those of you who believe that the government has proved the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt should stop and ask yourselves if the evidence is really convincing enough, given that other members of the jury are not convinced,” the Allen Charge, read by Kacsmaryk, said. “And those of you who believe that the government has not proved the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt should stop and ask yourselves if the doubt you have is a reasonable one, given that other members of the jury do not share your doubt.”
Approximately two hours after that charge was read to the jury was when the verdict was announced. Each member of the jury was asked by court officials if they agreed to the verdict and each member agreed to the verdict.
After the verdict, officials with the defense renewed a motion for Reagor’s acquittal, a motion they had made earlier in the case. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the first motion to acquit Reagor occurred Wednesday, when the defense stated their belief that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. After the acquittal motion was objected by the prosecution, the motion was ultimately denied by Kacsmaryk for reasons stated in the trial brief.
After the verdict was read, Reagor was released on the same conditions of his pretrial release. Officials stated that Reagor is not a flight risk and is not a danger to others or himself. Reagor’s sentencing has not yet been scheduled but officials expect the schedule will come in a few weeks.
When asked his reaction after leaving the courtroom, Reagor, as well as Matt Powell, a member of his defense counsel, said they had no comment on the jury’s ruling. Jeffery Haag, a member of the prosecution’s counsel, said they did not have any comment as well.