UPDATE: Reagor found guilty on false statements to a bank, not guilty on bank fraud counts

Local News

UPDATE:

After its deliberation, the jury announced its ruling in the Reagor trial, 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 story is developing. Check with MyHighPlains.com for updates

Original Story:

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After nearly a full day of jury deliberations on Thursday Oct. 14, the jury in the Bart Reagor trial case returned to Amarillo Federal Court at 10 a.m. Friday morning, Oct. 15 to continue deliberations. 

This comes after the jury told U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, the federal judge overseeing Reagor’s trial, that they were deadlocked late Thursday afternoon, with Kacsmaryk continuing to encourage the jury to continue deliberations and reach a final verdict if possible. 

According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, members of the jury heard final, closing arguments from both the prosecution and the defense Thursday, hearing why each side believes Reagor should be found guilty or not guilty for two counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements to a bank.

According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Reagor pleaded not guilty to the counts in an Amarillo Federal Court appearance in April. 

On Friday, Kacsmaryk brought the jury into the courtroom at approximately 10:10 a.m, telling them that he was hopeful that the late start would “encourage (the jury) to keep going.” Kacsmaryk continued to encourage the jury to follow the jury charge, the instructions Kacsmaryk gave them prior to deliberations and closing arguments on Thursday. 

At approximately 10:15 a.m., the jury went back into the deliberation room to continue discussions surrounding the case. After the jury left, Kacsmaryk complemented the counsel for both the prosecution as well as the defense, stating that this trial has been one of the most efficient cases he has ever seen in his court. 

According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Kacsmaryk held a meeting with counsel of the prosecution and the defense Thursday afternoon after the jury left the court room. Kacsmaryk told them that if the jury continues to be deadlocked, the court has the intention to proceed with a modified Allen Charge, a charge that the judge would give to the jury for further effort to reach a verdict in the case. 

Officials from both the prosecution and the defense stated at the time that they would like to see the jury continue their deliberation and see how the case plays out.

At approximately 11:58 a.m., officials from the prosecution and the defense came back to the court, after Kacsmaryk received a fourth note from the jury. In this note, the jury asked the court if they could have access to transcripts from the court proceedings.

In response to this note, Kacsmaryk stated that the transcripts will not be available to the jury, stressing to them that they can use the notes that they took during the trial, as well as their own personal recollection, as deliberations continue.

Kacsmaryk also said that if the jury sends another broad request to the court, he will bring them to the courtroom, stressing the importance of specific and particular questions from the jury to the court, instead of ones with “Kafka-esque brevity.”

Judge Reads Allen Charge to Jury

Around 2 p.m., Kacsmaryk brought officials with the prosecution and the defense back to the courtroom to read the jury’s fifth note. This note, like notes two and three, stated that the jury was deadlocked, with no agreement after going through all the evidence. The jury also specified that no jury member would be willing to change their mind.

Because of this reaction from the jury, 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 told the jury that they have a “duty to agree on a verdict,” if they could, urging them to take all the. time that is necessary. If they cannot come to an agreement, the case would still be open and Reagor would continue to be under indictment.

According to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the modified Allen Charge, which Kacsmaryk read in open court, states:

“Any future jury must be selected in the same manner and from the same source as you were chosen, and there is no reason to believe that the case could ever be submitted to twelve men and women more conscientious, more impartial, or more competent to decide it, or that more or clearer evidence could be produced. 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. 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.”

Prior to Kacsmaryk giving the jury the modified Allen Charge, Matt Powell, a member of the defense counsel, made the motion for a mistrial, stating that the jury has deliberated for 10.5 to 11 hours, longer than the prosecution and the defense took to present the evidence. The prosecution then objected the motion for the mistrial.

Kacsmaryk did not make a ruling on the motion given by the defense, stating that it would be more prudent, and the best course of action, for the jury to hear the Allen Charge. The motion for the mistrial from the defense continues to be pending.

This story is developing. Check with MyHighPlains.com for updates

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