No Verdict Yet in Gann Murder Trial - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

No Verdict Yet in Gann Murder Trial

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Jurors completed their first full day of deliberations and must decide the fate of a young man accused of conspiring with his teenage sister to kill their stepfather.

Nathaniel Gann, 20, is charged with murder and lying in wait in the July 19, 2007, death of Timothy MacNeil, a 63-year-old criminal defense lawyer. Jurors, who got the case against Gann on Friday afternoon, will be back behind closed doors on Tuesday morning.

Gann's sister, 19-year-old Brae Hansen, was tried with her brother, with a separate jury. Both face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

Hansen's jury reached a verdict last Thursday, but Judge Frederic Link said he wouldn't announce it until at least Wednesday.

In his closing argument last Friday, Deputy District Attorney George Bennett told the Gann jury that MacNeil got "jumped" by his stepchildren as he arrived at his Rolando home around noon.

The prosecutor said the siblings tried to make it look like MacNeil was shot to death by a masked intruder in a botched robbery.

Hansen initially told police that the masked intruder bound her wrists with Zip Ties and shot her stepfather when he wouldn't give the robber the combination to his safe, according to court testimony.

But Bennett told the jury that MacNeil was shot four times -- including a fatal shot to the back of the head -- by Gann, who drove from Arizona to San Diego to commit the crime when his younger sister told him she wanted the victim dead.

"It was no accident, it was no spontaneous, rash act," the prosecutor said. "It was done by a sneak attack by means of lying in wait."

Bennett said police initially treated Hansen as a victim, but arrested her when her story fell apart. Gann was arrested at his Arizona home the next day.

A jailhouse informant testified that Gann told him details of the murder that only the killer would know, Bennett told the jury.

Defense attorney Ricardo Garcia, in his closing argument, told jurors that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. He said "unreliable" evidence presented should leave jurors with rational questions in their mind whether Gann was guilty of murder.

Garcia said it didn't make sense for Gann to leave his life in Arizona and "kill a man he has no bad feeling about."

Garcia urged jurors to question whether a ski mask found near the crime scene -- police say it had Gann's DNA on it -- was contaminated.

The murder weapon, which was found in the backyard, had a mixture of Gann's and Hansen's DNA on it, but that should be questioned because the gun once belonged to the defendants' mother, who committed suicide in 2006, Garcia said.

In his closing argument in Hansen's trial, Bennett said the woman gave Gann a handgun, withdrew money and had a key made as part of the conspiracy that led to MacNeil's death.

The "appalling crime" was committed after several days of planning by the defendants, the prosecutor said.

Hansen's attorney, Troy Britt, told jurors in his closing argument that tiny bits of evidence, when added together, show his client tried to back out of the plot.

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