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Du Pont jury has questions, but no verdict


Was he mentally ill, insane or both?

February 19, 1997
Web posted at: 10:35 p.m. EST

MEDIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- The jury in the murder trial of John du Pont adjourned Wednesday evening without reaching a verdict.

Du Pont is charged in the January 1996 killing of Olympic wrestler David Schultz, and the facts of the murder are not in question. The issue is whether the millionaire was sane enough to know that what he was doing was wrong.

Wednesday's deliberations were interrupted several times as the six-man, six-woman jury asked to review portions of the testimony.

The jurors reviewed the testimony of prosecution psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz, who contended that du Pont was mentally ill but that he knew the difference between right and wrong when he killed Schultz.


The jury also asked to hear testimony from Patrick Goodale, a security consultant who was with du Pont when he killed Schultz.

They also asked Judge Patricia Jenkins to repeat her instructions on the charges of homicide against du Pont.

She told the jury it must first determine whether du Pont shot Schultz, then decide whether he was innocent by reason of insanity.

Was he mentally ill, insane or both?

If not insane, she said, they could find him guilty, not guilty, or guilty but mentally ill. If it decides against an insanity acquittal, the jury must decide if the homicide was first-degree or third-degree, or if it was voluntary manslaughter.

If the jury finds du Pont guilty but mentally ill, he would face the same penalties as an ordinary guilty verdict. He could, however, receive psychiatric treatment before serving his sentence.

If he is found not guilty by reason of insanity, a hearing would immediately be held on whether du Pont should be treated in a psychiatric hospital or freed.

Correspondent Brian Jenkins and Reuters contributed to this report.


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