UPDATE: Hung jury in trial of Arizona border activist

Scott Warren was facing felony charges for allegedly harboring immigrants

Juror speaks after hung jury

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The jury deadlocked in the federal trial of Scott Warren, an Arizona border activist accused of harboring immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally.

The announcement was made around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 11.

The jury received the case Friday in U.S. District Court in Tucson before breaking for the weekend and resuming deliberations Monday.

According to humanitarian aid group “No More Deaths,” the jury told the judge on Monday that they couldn’t reach a decision on the case. The judge then asked the jury to continue deliberations.

Jury deliberations resumed Tuesday morning, but they could still not reach a decision. The federal government now must decide whether to retry the case or dismiss the charges.

An anonymous juror released this statement exclusively to KOLD News 13:

"The hung jury started with seven not guilty and five guilty on Friday afternoon. On Monday, (it) became eight not guilty and four guilty. There was no possibility of a unanimous verdict. After Judge (Raner) Collins instructed us to continue to deliberate, we returned Tuesday and continued to go through the evidence, but there was no movement. We developed a system of going through all the evidence and applying it to each of the three counts for which the defendant was charged. The ‘intent’ was a significant part of deliberation, especially with counts 2 and 3.

It was often highly stressful, especially combined with the court security often escorting us through back corridors because of concern for what appeared to be our safety and/or someone approaching us regarding the case.

The deliberation itself was civil aside from the initial start where we needed some time to de-escalate after over a week of listening to the testimony and not being allowed to discuss with each other. We did have a supply of Tums and OTC headache medication, it was very hard, perhaps more so because we were so deadlocked.

Personally, I voted not guilty because the government did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, linking Scott to conspiracy when no evidence was provided as far as any plan he was aware of to help illegals. Also, there was no evidence to prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt. "

Background

Warren, a volunteer for “No More Deaths,” was arrested in early 2018. The arrest came only hours after the group released videos of Border Patrol agents kicking over water jugs meant for immigrants.

Prosecutors claim Warren conspired to harbor two immigrants, saying they weren’t in distress when Warren provided them with food and shelter in a building used to aid sick migrants who have just crossed into the U.S.

Warren claims he was fulfilling his duty to help others when he encountered the migrants near the Mexico border.

The trial, which began May 29, has been condemned by critics who say President Donald Trump’s administration is targeting border activists.

Warren, 36, was one of nine volunteers who left food and water for border crossers in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in August 2017.

Eight others from the group were sentenced with misdemeanor charges.

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