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Jury deadlocked on sanity of Carlsbad school shooter

March 15, 2012 |  5:46 pm

Brendan O'Rourke
The jury deciding whether a 42-year-old former security guard was insane when he began shooting at students at a Carlsbad elementary school is deadlocked, court officials said Thursday.

The jury in the sanity phase of the trial of Brendan O'Rourke sent a note to the judge late in the afternoon indicating that it is deadlocked. The note did not indicate the nature of the deadlock. The judge ordered the jury to resume deliberations Friday morning.

The same jury last week took less than an hour to convict O'Rourke of seven counts of attempted murder in the Oct. 8, 2010, shooting spree at Kelly Elementary School. Two girls were wounded before construction workers tackled O'Rourke and held him down until police arrived.

If the jury in the Vista branch of San Diego County Superior Court decides O'Rourke was insane, he would be sent to a state mental hospital. If it decides he was sane, he faces a life sentence in prison. The jury's decision must be unanimous.

The jury heard several days of psychiatric testimony and watched a video of O'Rourke being interviewed by police after the shooting. Deliberations began Wednesday.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Brendan O'Rourke

Credit: Fox-5 San Diego