McDougal jury breaks for weekend
SANTA MONICA, California (AllPolitics, Nov. 20) -- With no verdict after two days of deliberations, jurors in the Susan McDougal embezzlement trial were sent home Friday evening with instructions to return on Monday.
McDougal, 43, is accused of stealing $50,000 from conductor Zubin Mehta and his wife, Nancy, while she worked as their bookkeeper.
The jury, composed of nine women and three men, will resume at 9 a.m. PST Monday.
As they deliberated, McDougal read a book, "A Short History of a Small Place," sent to her while she was in jail.
In final arguments Wednesday, the day the case went to the jury, the prosecutor called McDougal a "con woman" who manipulated her employer in order to steal her money.
The defense concluded its closing arguments Tuesday afternoon, contending that Nancy Mehta's testimony against McDougal was unbelievable, and that there is plenty of reasonable doubt to justify an innocent verdict.
No matter the outcome of her embezzlement trial, which is in its 11th week, McDougal will have a three-month break before facing her next trial in Little Rock, Arkansas.
At the request of McDougal's attorney, U.S. District Court Judge George Howard Jr. in Little Rock has rescheduled her criminal contempt trial for February 16. It had been set for November 30. Howard's staff is preparing for a trial lasting up to three weeks.
She faces two counts of criminal contempt and one count of obstruction of justice for refusing to answer questions from prosecutors for Independent Counsel Ken Starr, and from grand jurors.
McDougal has insisted her steadfast refusal to cooperate stems from her belief Starr wants her to lie about then-Gov. Bill Clinton's role in business dealings in Arkansas in the 1980s.
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