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Jury deadlocked in border activist's trial

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jun 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 14:27:03-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal jury has told a judge they are unable to reach a verdict in the trial of Dr. Scott Warren, an activist near Arizona's southern border charged with conspiracy and harboring undocumented migrants.

After closing arguments in the trial Friday, the jury began deliberations at around 11:45 a.m. They resumed at 9:30 Monday morning and deliberated all day before telling Judge Raner Collins they couldn't reach a verdict. Collins charged the jury to deliberate further, which they did Tuesday morning at 9:30.

By 1:30 that afternoon, the jury convened in court to tell the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked on the case. A new hearing is set for July 2, when federal prosecutors will announce whether they intend to begin proceedings for a retrial or drop the charges.

If convicted, he would've faced up to 20 years in prison.

RELATED: Border activist's lawyer: Prosecutors didn't prove case

Warren was arrested in January 2018, after Border Patrol agents say they saw him offer food, water, shelter and medical care to two men who crossed the border illegally. It all happened at "The Barn" -- a hub of activity for the group "No More Deaths," which gives food and water to immigrants crossing Arizona's desert.

Prosecutors argued Warren was part of a conspiracy to smuggle immigrants across the border and shelter them in his home. They say the men he helped were never in any real distress, citing pictures from the scene.

RELATED: Border activist trial defense: 'Scott intended one thing, to provide basic human kindness'

But defense attorneys say Warren was only acting in accordance with his conscience, helping two men who desperately needed it after walking miles across an unforgiving landscape with little to eat or drink.