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Bensonhurst Juries Deliberate

May 9, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ Several hours into their first full day of deliberations, jurors deciding the fate of Bensonhurst murder defendant Keith Mondello asked Wednesday to review Mondello’s signed statement about his admitted involvement in the shooting of Yusuf Hawkins.

The jury also asked the trial judge, Justice Thaddeus Owens of state Supreme Court in brooklyn, to again explain the elements of the four homicide charges against Mondello.

Mondello is on trial on two counts of second-degree murder, first- and second-degree manslaughter and several lesser charges.

In the three-page statement taken by the police and signed by Mondello on the day after the shooting, he admits organizing the mob, knowing that at least one person had a gun and carrying a baseball bat when Hawkins was shot.

Defense lawyer Stephen Murphy said the police tricked his client into putting his name on the statement.

A second jury for the accused shooter, Joseph Fama, began its second full day of deliberations listening to lengthy readbacks of the testimony of two prosecution witnesses, Gina Feliciano and Cindy Hamburger.

The panel wanted to hear again what the two young women said Fama was wearing and where he was about the time of the Aug. 23 shooting.

The two defendants, both white 19-year-olds, would face 25 years to life in jail if convicted of murdering the black teen-ager. Moses Stewart, the father of the slain teen, has asked the black community to react with restraint if the two are acquitted.

Stewart said Tuesday he personally would be disappointed with anything short of two murder convictions.

The Mondello case went to the jury late Tuesday while the Fama panel began its deliberations Monday evening.

Testimony lasted nearly three weeks.

Update hourly