Jury Deliberating In Sypher Trial

by Rick Howlett on August 4, 2010

Jury deliberations resume Thursday in the federal extortion trial of Karen Sypher.

The panel began deliberations in the case late this Wednesday afternoon.

Sypher is accused of threatening to go public with allegations of rape and other damaging information against U of L basketball coach Rick Pitino unless he met her financial demands.

Her attorney, James Earhart, rested his case Wednesday without calling any witnesses. In closing arguments he said the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and that police failed to fully investigate Sypher’s sexual assualt claims because of Pitino’s stature.

Pitino said he had a brief consensual encounter with Sypher in 2003.   Police say their investigation found that Sypher’s claims lacked credibility.

Prosecutor Marisa Ford told jurors that Pitino was the victim of a shakedown by a woman who was looking for “a golden parachute.”

Jurors deliberated for nearly two hours Wednesday before breaking for the day.

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