Parting Shots

On March 22, a tired-looking Haidl II gang-rape jury left the Orange County Courthouse without reaching a verdict. The eight men and four women have deliberated now for more than 15 hours on the nine felony counts facing Greg Haidl, Keith Spann and Kyle Nachreiner. Haidl, who repeatedly violated his $100,000 bail, remains locked in the Orange County Jail and awaits trial on a second statutory-rape charge. A distraught-looking Nachreiner and Spann enjoyed their freedom while huddled in the courthouse cafeteria surrounded by lawyers, family and friends. The jury is expected back at 9 a.m. on March 23.

Jurors are grappling with two different versions of what happened during a late-night July 6, 2002, Newport Beach party. Here are video excerpts from the heated closing arguments made last week:

(Windows Media format):

Excerpt 1: Prosecutor Chuck Middleton dims the courtroom lights and plays a portion of what he says is a videotape of the gang rape of an unconscious 16-year-old girl on a pool table during a 2002 Newport Beach high school party.

Excerpt 2: Lead Haidl defense lawyer Joseph G. Cavallo argues the defendants reasonably believed the girl would have consented to the videotaped gangbang because, in part, she shaved her pubic hair.

Excerpt 3: Cavallo asserts what's key in the case is the victim's character, even though the videotape shows the defendants repeatedly shoving a Snapple bottle, apple-juice can, lit cigarette and pool cue into the girl's vagina and anus.

Excerpt 4: Cavallo claims the prosecution's "rape tape" actually helps the defendants.

Excerpt 5: Middleton says his case isn't about the victim's sexuality, but rather what the defendants did to her after they gave her beer, marijuana and 8.5 ounces of 94-proof Bombay Gin.

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