Haq jury could not agree on ‘intent to murder,’ juror says
Premeditation, not insanity issue, dominated debate
A few jurors thought Naveed Haq was guilty, but many apparently weren’t convinced that he went to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle intending to kill anyone.
The jury’s deadlock in the case centered mainly on whether Haq acted with premeditation or intent — not so much whether he was insane, one juror said Thursday.
Though the jury split various ways on the 15 criminal charges, she said at least half weren’t convinced he was guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of federation worker Pam Waechter or of trying to kill the five women who were wounded.
“It’s a very complex case. I don’t know how 12 people could come to a conclusion,” said the juror, who spoke on the condition that her name not be made public. “We went at it from every angle that we possibly could.”
* Complex? This guy clearly stated that he wanted to kill Jews. It is his religion that makes him believe that killing Jews gets him to Muhammads bordello and the 72 virgins. What’s complex about that?
King County prosecutors plan to retry Haq, 32, for the July 2006 shooting rampage. They contend he planned the attack to make a political statement against Jews and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
* Anything but the obvious….
“We want to hear from as many jurors as possible about what issues they struggled over,” said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. “We’ll certainly take their struggles into account as we approach a second trial.”
He said it was “too soon to say exactly how the charges would change, if at all.”
Haq remains in jail. His attorneys argued during the six-week trial that the mentally ill defendant was under the delusional belief that he was on a mission from God during the shooting.
* ‘Mentally ill defendant?’ Â Does Sudden Jihad Syndrome make him mentally ill? Does that mean we have a billion mentally ill candidates out there who are ready to do the same?
“I think there are always things you can do better the second time around,” said Haq’s attorney, C. Wesley Richards, “so we’ll be looking to see what changes might be appropriate.”
The juror who spoke Thursday to the Seattle P-I, one day after a Superior Court judge declared a mistrial, said she likely would have found Haq insane on all of the charges and was a lone vote in some of them.
“I thought during the whole thing he was acting on a delusion. … It was ill-planned,” she said. “I think he’s profoundly mentally ill. It’s escalating, and he’s crossed a line.”
She said the six-man, six-woman jury spent much of seven days debating whether it had been proved Haq had gone to the Belltown office with premeditation — or the intent to kill people — and barely even got to the question of insanity.
Some jurors believed “he went there with a gun to take hostages and make a point” — not to end lives, she said.
* He certainly did both: he killed people and made his point. What’s so difficult about that?
Jurors had three choices for each charge: guilty; not guilty; or not guilty by reason of insanity. Intent is a requirement to find someone guilty of murder or attempted murder; premeditation is required for a first-degree charge.
The juror said four members of the panel wanted to convict Haq of first-degree murder for killing Waechter, but six weren’t convinced he acted with premeditation, and two believed he was insane. Six jurors would have convicted him of second-degree murder.
On the five attempted-murder charges, the split differed greatly, in part because some jurors considered whether each woman was shot before or after Haq announced that anyone who called 911 would be killed.
Depending on the charge, as many as 11 jurors believed he should be found not guilty, and between one and three believed he should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. Up to six voted guilty.
Jurors unanimously found Haq not guilty of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Carol Goldman, the first victim, in their only verdict in the case. Some believed he shot her reactively when a colleague told her to call 911, the juror said.
Layla Bush, the youngest and most severely wounded survivor, said learning more about the deliberations was “frustrating, because obviously, he did what he did.”
“He practiced shooting his gun on the way,” said Bush, 25. “You don’t do that unless you’re planning to shoot people.”
The juror said the panel was evenly split on the six counts of malicious harassment — the hate-crime charges — but was leaning toward guilty verdicts for the kidnapping, burglary and unlawful imprisonment charges.
Jurors deliberated through tears and were crushed that they could not come to a consensus, particularly for the surviving victims, she said.
“I am just profoundly compassionate and sad that they have to live through another minute of this,” she said, starting to cry. “We’re the lucky ones that get to move on.”