Bloomberg News

Mistrial Declared in Murder Case of Ex-Prosecutor Bergrin

November 23, 2011

(Updates with judge’s remarks in third paragraph.)

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- A mistrial was declared in the trial of Paul Bergrin, a former federal prosecutor and a defense attorney for rappers and U.S. soldiers, who was charged with conspiring to murder an informant in a drug case.

U.S. District Judge William Martini today ended the six- week trial in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, after jurors said they were deadlocked in their sixth day of deliberations. The jurors told Martini they had “exhaustively reviewed” the evidence and were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

“It’s clear to me that they’re hopelessly deadlocked and that further deliberations would not be fruitful,” Martini said before dismissing the jury. “They had ample time to deliberate.”

Prosecutors said Bergrin directed the 2004 shooting of Kemo Deshawn McCray, 30, of Newark, to avoid being identified as a cocaine supplier to a drug gang. Bergrin, a former Essex County, New Jersey, prosecutor and assistant U.S. attorney, represented himself in court and denied wrongdoing, assailing prosecution witnesses as liars seeking leniency in their own criminal cases.

Bergrin, who faced life in prison if convicted, remains in custody.

The case is U.S. v. Bergrin, 09-cr-369, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

--Editors: Andrew Dunn, Fred Strasser

To contact the reporter on this story: David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey at dvoreacos@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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