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Sheriff found guilty, then juror changes mind in court chaos

December 7, 2018

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A jury told a judge they found a western Pennsylvania sheriff guilty of corruption, but one juror changed his mind in the middle of proceedings and a mistrial was declared.

Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held was charged with two counts of theft and one count of conflict of interest for allegedly forcing staff members to perform duties for his re-election campaign.

The jury deliberated for several hours before telling Judge Timothy Creany they couldn’t reach a verdict Friday afternoon. Creany told them to keep at it, and a few hours later, they came back with a guilty verdict.

Creany read the verdict in court, then went through the jury one by one. When he got to Juror 6, that person said he didn’t agree after all.

WTAE-TV says Creany then declared a mistrial.

Held has denied the charges and says they come from disgruntled former employees.

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Information from: WTAE-TV, http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com

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