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Jury to continue deliberations Tuesday morning in restaurant owner trial

By PAT BAILEY

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Due to a New York State crackdown on overtime in the court system, the jury in the case of Isidoro Marra was sent home Monday, without rendering a verdict.

Marra owns the Villa Isidoro restaurant and bed and breakfast in Richfield Springs.

Before the defense and the prosecution gave their closing arguments, Herkimer County Court Judge Pat Kirk informed the court that he received an email from Albany stating court personnel were not to receive overtime and that juries must be sent home at the end of the business day.

All last week, Marra was on trial for allegedly raping a woman who had dinner at his restaurant back in 2009 and then fell asleep later that night on a couch at the bed and breakfast portion of Marra's business after her boyfriend left without her.

The alleged victim claimed that she did not wake up until Marra was allegedly having sex with her. The next morning, she received a ride back to her boyfriend's home from the boyfriend's mother, who works at the bed and breakfast portion of Villa Isidoro. Marra rode with them in the back seat of the car.

The jury did get the chance to deliberate for about an hour and half on Monday, before requesting to hear a read-back. The group wanted to hear the testimony of the New York State Trooper who took the sworn statement of Isidoro Marra.

That request came at 3:19 p.m. on Monday. Since the read-back was over 30 pages, Judge Kirk decided to hold off on it until Tuesday morning.

Earlier in the day, both the defense and prosecution gave their closing arguments.

During his closing argument, Defense Attorney George Aney reminded the jury that Marra, as the defendant, does not have to prove anything in this case.

He also read back the indictment against Marra, that stated the alleged victim was unconscious and helpless when she was allegedly raped.

Aney went on to recall witness testimony, all of which, he said, had no mention of the alleged victim ever being drunk, unconscious or passed out.

Aney also reminded the jury that the alleged victim rode to the restaurant that night with her boyfriend, who left without her. He then reminded them that the alleged victim rode to the boyfriend's house with Marra in the car after the alleged rape.

Aney also talked at length about a forensic scientist's testimony about DNA, saying that none of Isidoro Marra's DNA was found in the alleged victim. He ended by saying there was never any motive at all mentioned during the trial as to why Isidoro Marra would rape the alleged victim.

Herkimer County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Carpenter pointed to the testimony of a forensic scientist during his closing argument. Carpenter reminded the jury that she testified that she found the defendant's DNA on the alleged victim's body.

"I think the evidence went in an organized manner and I trust the jury will do what they think is the best verdict possible in this case," Carpenter said. "Whatever that is, I'll live with it."

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