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Guilty verdict accepted by judge in kidnapping

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The jurors in Patrick W. Deguair Jr.’s kidnapping and murder trial returned to court yesterday to return a verdict a state judge refused to accept from them last week.

The jurors found Deguair, 33, guilty of kidnapping April 5 but were unable to reach unanimous verdicts in the murder and two firearms charges after a monthlong trial and two days of deliberation.

Circuit Judge Glenn Kim refused to accept the kidnapping verdict on April 5 because jurors did not provide an answer to one of three follow-up questions intended to establish whether the kidnapping charge should be a class A felony, punishable by a mandatory 20-year prison term, or a class B felony, punishable by a maximum 10-year prison term.

Kim accepted their verdict yesterday after the deputy prosecutor in the case convinced him he had made a mistake.

The jurors answered "yes" last week when asked whether the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Deguair did not release the victim, Jermaine Duckworth. Deguair was found to be guilty of class A kidnapping, and is scheduled for sentencing in June.

Duckworth, 24, was found at the bottom of a cliff near Yokohama Bay beach with a gunshot wound in the back of the head in March 2008.

Deguair is scheduled to go to trial for the murder again in June.

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