Judge declares mistrial in murder case of newsman George Weber
A mistrial was declared Thursday in the Brooklyn murder trial of a Queens teenager accused of killing a newsman who placed a Craigslist ad offering cash for sadomasochistic sex.
Jurors on Thursday, their third day of deliberations, told the judge that they were deadlocked in the case of John Katehis, 18, who was 16 when he negotiated sex for money with George Weber, 47, a popular radio reporter freelancing for WABC at the time of his death.
State Supreme Court Justice Neil Jon Firetog declared a mistrial and briefly debated rescinding his decision when jurors said they wanted to continue deliberating, but decided to let his decision stand, according to published reports.
A pretrial hearing for Katehis to discuss next steps will be held Nov. 3, said a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney.
Katehis had faced 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
On March 2009, police found Weber’s body in his Carroll Gardens apartment, stabbed more than 50 times, his legs immobilized with duct tape.
Katehis, a self-described sadomasochist and Satan enthusiast who displayed his knife collection on his MySpace page, was portrayed by his lawyer, Jeffrey Schwartz, during the trial as an exploited young boy who panicked and stabbed Weber in self defense after Weber plied him with drugs and alcohol and pressured him “to do things that made him uncomfortable.”
Meanwhile, prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi described Katehis as a hard-hearted, predatory hustler and a “cold, calculating, savvy killer.”