The jury in the Rod Coronado case failed to come to a verdict today and it’s unclear whether the case against the environmental activist will be continued.

Coronado has been charged under a seldom-used federal law that prohibits individuals from teaching or demonstrating the making or use of an explosive device with the intent that passing on the information will lead to further crimes.

The charges relate to a 2003 speech Coronado made in Hillcrest. After the speech, Coronado was asked about an incendiary device he used several years earlier to burn down a fur farm in Michigan. He responded by describing how he made the Molotov cocktail-type device, using an apple juice jug sitting on the desk in front of him as a prop.

Outside the courtroom just now, both sides of the legal battle were talking intently to the few remaining jurors, presumably trying to figure out what they did right and what they did wrong.

One of the jurors, Glenn Burton, said he didn’t want to go into details about how the jury was split. He said the jury knew the significance of their decision, and that he thought the jurors all had a good grasp on the fairly complex issues raised.

“That’s why we took three days,” Burton said. “We wanted to make sure we methodically went through the evidence to reach a decision we were all happy with.”

Jerry Singleton, Coronado’s lead attorney, said he had no idea whether this signals the end of the legal battle. However, he said he was pleased with the result.

“We’re happy, it’s a good result,” he said. “But what we really want now is to see the case dismissed.”

The federal prosecutors slipped away without making any comment. I’m waiting for a call.


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