Mistrial declared in New York City therapist murder trial

David Tarloff is accused of hacking a New York City psychotherapist to death with a meat cleaver.

April 16, 2013 8:56:12 AM PDT
A Manhattan judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the murder case against accused killer David Tarloff after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

According to a spokesperson from the district attorney's office, Manhattan DA Cy Vance will retry the case.

Jurors sent two notes to the judge last week, saying they may not be able to reach a verdict. Judge Edward McLaughlin instructed them to continue, and deliberations enter their 10th day Tuesday.

But after the third note Tuesday, McLaughlin he told the jury, "I'm willing to say that we're finished."

Tarloff was, in the past, considered mentally ill and unable to stand trial for the 2008 murder of therapist Kathryn Faughey.

No one denies that Tarloff is a killer, but jurors were asked to decide whether he was a calculating criminal or a man too delusional to know right from wrong.

Tarloff doesn't dispute the murder as he tried to carry out a weird robbery plot targeting her officemate. He's pursuing an insanity defense, which means it must be determined whether he understood the consequences of his actions well enough to be held criminally responsible.

If convicted, Tarloff faced life in prison. A not guilty verdict would put him in a mental hospital until - if ever - doctors and a judge decided he was well enough to go free.

Prosecutors say Tarloff knew what he was doing and should be held criminally responsible.