Monday, December 6, 2021

Declared mistrial after jury fails to reach verdict on murder, kidnapping charges in Jonelle Matthews case

A Weld County jury found 70-year-old Steve Panke guilty of false reporting on Thursday, but the judge ruled on two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping in the 1984 death of Jonelle Matthews.

On Tuesday, the jury began considering three charges against Panke, accused of kidnapping and murdering a 12-year-old girl, as well as an additional charge of perjury that led to Pankey testifying as a witness and admitting to lying. was added after. About the case to law enforcement in the past.

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During the deliberations, the jury was not able to come to an agreement on the charges of murder and kidnapping. Their deliberations ended at 10:45 am on Thursday.

Weld County District Judge Timothy Kerns declined an amended-Allen directive, a jury directive put in place to encourage a jury that cannot decide to reach a unanimous verdict.

Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke pressed for this jury directive, but Kerns declared that further deliberations would not change anyone’s decision.

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

District Attorney Michael Rourke looks to the ground outside the courtroom after the jury hangs in 3 out of 4 cases in People v. Punky, making it a misrepresentation in Weld County District Court in Greeley, November 4, 2021 .

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