Guilty verdict in Uma Thurman stalking trial

May 6, 2008 3:28:07 PM PDT
A jury found a former mental patient guilty on all charges in the Uma Thurman stalker trial.This verdict came in just before Noon. Jack Jordan is now convicted of stalking and aggravated harassment. He now faces up to a year in jail. A sentencing hearing will be held on June 2nd.

We've been a lot of Jack Jordan walking around during breaks in the trial, but no more for now: The judge in the case had authorities take Jordan into custody pending a psychiatric exam.

This entire case turned on the question of freaky obsession versus criminality. The defense said from the start of the case that this was not illegal stalking, this was a man who in his own mind thought that he was in love with Uma Thurman. He showed up on her movie set, at her home, and wrote what the prosecution called disturbing and bizarre letters. In the letters he claimed her two children were an illusion, and professed his love for her.

The prosecution made the case that Jordan knew from Uman Thurman herself, and from her family, that she wanted nothing at all to do with him yet he continued to seek her out anyway.

It took the jury nearly a full day to announce a verdict. When they went home after deliberations on Monday, a defense lawyer told Eyewitness News' Jeff Rossen privately that they were a little shocked by the amount of time a verdict was taking, and that it was a good sign for them.

Clearly the jury slept on it, came back Tuesday morning and found Jack Jordan guilty of both stalking and aggravated harassment.

The week long trial featured gripping testimony from the Academy award-nominated actress. Thurman says she was "completely freaked out" by Jordan's behavior.

Prosecutors told the jury how he stalked her off and on over the last three years. He showed up at her front doorstep and her SoHo movie set and sent a series of bizarre cards and letters. Her parents say he also called them up in tearful, suicidal rants about their daughter.

A prosecutor painted a picture in closing arguments of Jordan as a celebrity-obsessed loner who "terrified" Thurman by flooding her with phone calls and e-mails, ringing her doorbell at all hours and threatening to kill himself if he couldn't meet her.

"This isn't about love for Uma Thurman," Assistant District Attorney Jessica Taub told jurors. "This is about self-absorption."

Defense lawyer George Vomvolakis conceded in his closing argument that Jordan's behavior was obsessive. He said, though, that his client did not have criminal intent to scare or harass the actress.

"He's trying to get to the woman he loves - although it's an obsession - in the hope that she will love him back," Vomvolakis said. "Jack Jordan is not charged with obsession. Obsession is not a crime."

Prosecutors say Jordan began stalking Thurman in 2005 and, following the incident with the confirmation card, was involuntarily committed to a mental institution. When he got out, prosecutors say he started showing up at the front doorstep of her Greenwich Village town house.

Jordan, who lives with his parents in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is an out-of-work lifeguard who was living in his car at the time of his arrest last year.

The judge in the case now has a couple of choices: He can send Jordan to jail for up to a year, or he could give him time served and put him on probation. It's unclear whether he can order he get psychiatric help.

We'll have more on what happened inside that jury room, and have reaction from Jack Jordan's lawyers tonight on Eyewitness News.