ATLANTA–Just as the jury’s run in with civil rights leaders at lastweek’s Ralph David Abernathy III trial sparked controversy, so, too, hasthe trial judge’s request for a Georgia Bureau of Investigation review of the incident.After courthouse deputies informed him that Abernathysupporters- including Coretta Scott King, her sons Martin Luther KingIII and Dexter King, Juanita Abernathy, the suspect’s mother, and theRev. Al Sharpton deliberately intercepted jurors on their way to lunch,Senior Superior Court Judge L.A. McConnell Jr. offered a mistrial to thestate as a remedy.
McConnell’s offer was declined after jurors told him the encounterwouldn’t affect their deliberations. The case ended in a mistrialanyway late Friday evening. Jurors announced they could not agree on averdict for any of the 32 charges against Abernathy, which includedtheft of $13,000 in government funds, violation of oath of office, falsestatements, forgery and influencing a witness.
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