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Hung jury in rape trial of Palisades Park former mob associate

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: The trial of a former mob associate from Palisades Park charged with rape ended in a hung jury yesterday.

Bergen County prosecutors can now look to retry 73-year-old Angelo “Ken” Wedra, try to negotiate a plea deal or drop the case.

Wedra, who on Monday was taken from the county courthouse in Hackensack to Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck after complaining of “angina-like” symptoms, expressed relief after the jurors told Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi just before 6 p.m. that they were unable to unanimously decide his guilt or innocence.

At the jury’s request, the alleged victim’s testimony was replayed yesterday morning. Later in the day, the jurors listened to more testimony through headphones, as well as an audible recording of phone calls between Wedra and the woman.

Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor David Calviello described the method as “bringing the jury room into the court” — a necessity because audio-visual systems aren’t available in jury rooms.

DeAvila-Silebi instructed jurors to try to reach an agreement while “maintaining their true convictions” after they told her earlier in the day that they couldn’t reach a verdict.

Later on, she suggested they use copies of transcripts to read along, and to make notes on the transcripts to ensure they had heard everything they wanted.

Finally, at the end of the day, she thanked them, noting that all were “very attentive throughout the whole trial…. You’ve deliberated conscientiously and can’t come to a decision.”

The judge then told attorneys for both sides to return on July 1 so “you can talk and see how you’re going to proceed with the case.”

Neither defense attorney Dennis Calo nor Calviello commented.

STORY / PHOTO: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

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