Jury fails to reach verdict in Lee Harvey Oswald mock trial

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on June 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 10 at 10:50 AM

DALLAS -- A jury couldn't come to a unanimous verdict Friday afternoon in the mock trial of the man labeled as President John F. Kennedy's assassin, in an exercise organized and produced by the State Bar of Texas.

Had Lee Harvey Oswald stood trial, it would have happened in a courthouse on the edge of Dealey Plaza -- perhaps on the second floor, where the mock trial happened.

"You're about to watch what many would have said is the 'trial of the century,'" the judge told a packed courtroom.

Current U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Sarah Saldana played the prosecutor, and prominent defense attorney Toby Shook defended Oswald.

Prosecutors connected the rifle found in the School Book Depository to Oswald, showed he purchased it, and bullets fired from it match ones found in the presidential limousine.

"Mr. Oswald is the only person involved in the assassination of the President of the United States," said a witness playing an ATF agent.

But the defense said it was a conspiracy, and took testimony from witnesses who said the shots came from the Grassy Knoll.

After almost three hours, the judge polled the jury for the verdict.

"It was a 9-to-3 verdict in favor of the prosecution, but it requires a unanimous verdict," the judge said.

At the time, Oswald would have only faced a state murder charge, because assassinating a president was not yet a federal crime in the early 1960s.

Across the hall, the case files are now stored in the courtroom where Oswald's murderer, Jack Ruby, was found guilty. President Kennedy's motorcade passed in front of the court building and the assassination happened across the street.

But the man suspected to be behind it would have walked free based on the outcome of this mock trial.

WFAA will broadcast the mock trial in an hour-long special on Saturday, June 29 at 4:00 p.m.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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