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Sheppard Attorney: Jury Was Hasty

Updated:
CLEVELAND (AP) — An attorney who argued that Dr. Sam Sheppard was wrongfully imprisoned for his wife's 1954 slaying says the jury was too hasty in rejecting the claim and the verdict should be thrown out.

Terry Gilbert filed a motion Monday asking Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Ron Suster to overturn the verdict and rule against the state or grant another trial.

The jury deliberated for three hours April 12 before unanimously rejecting the wrongful imprisonment charges brought by Sheppard's son, Sam Reese Sheppard. The civil trial, involving more than 70 witnesses over 2 1/2 months, was the latest episode in the sensational murder case that inspired the movie and TV series ``The Fugitive.''

The jury had ``obviously made up its collective mind before any meaningful review deliberation,'' Gilbert wrote in the motion.

He said no decision had been made on whether to appeal.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason, who defended the state in the lawsuit, predicted the verdict would stand.

Marilyn Sheppard was bludgeoned in her bed while her son, then 7, slept in a nearby room. Dr. Sheppard claimed he was downstairs and awoke to his wife's cries, but was knocked unconscious by a bushy-haired intruder.

Sheppard spent 10 years in prison before the Supreme Court overturned the verdict. He was acquitted at retrial in 1966 and died four years later.
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