Bullock jury suspends deliberations

Paul Mann
Mad River Union
EUREKA –  Owing to illness, the 10-woman, two-man jury has temporarily suspended its deliberations in the Gary Lee Bullock murder case in Humboldt County Superior Court.
Jurors were poised to begin their third day of deliberations Friday when one of them called in sick. Possibly they will resume on Monday, April 11.
Since taking over the complex case late Tuesday morning, the jury has repeatedly sent questions to both counsel and to Judge John T. Feeney.
 Jurors have requested readings of portions of the court reporter's trial transcripts and viewed an additional surveillance video clip recorded at the St. Bernard's Parish rectory, where Bullock allegedly tortured and murdered Father Eric Freed early on New Year's Day morning, 2014. Bullock had been released from Humboldt County jail for public intoxication only hours before the slaying.
Facing seven felony counts, Bullock pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to torture, attempted arson, burglary and carjacking as well as first degree murder.
 Judge Feeney, Prosecutor Andrew Isaac and Defense Counsel Kaleb Cockrum met with the jury behind closed doors for 15 minutes at 2 p.m.Thursday, as deliberations continued. The jurors meet mornings 8:30 a.m. to noon and afternoons 1:30 to 4:30 each weekday.
If the jury returns a guilty verdict, the case will move to a second phase for a separate determination of whether Bullock was insane when he killed Freed, allegedly employing a wood stake and a piece of iron pipe to inflict blunt force trauma.

The prosecution argued that the plentiful physical evidence and Bullock's repeated attempts to conceal it proved he was in full possession of his faculties; the defense insisted he suffered a psychotic episode, a sudden explosion of anger over which he had no control. 


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