exposing the dark side of adoption
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Mom Awaits Verdict


AUBURN - The jury charged with deciding if Sarah Allen killed her 21-month-old son went home Thursday without reaching a verdict.

After discussing the case for three hours Wednesday and another six hours Thursday, the panel of seven women and five men was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

They will return to Androscoggin County Superior Court this morning to resume their deliberations.

Allen, 31, has been charged with manslaughter in the death of her adopted son, Nathaniel. The state alleges the Lisbon mom caused the boy's death two years ago by shaking or jerking him with enough force to damage his brain and neck.

Allen claims she never shook the toddler.

Her attorney, Verne Paradie, attempted to convince the jury during the two-week trial that the boy died as the result of a pre-existing, undetected medical condition.

The longer the jury deliberates, the more people on both sides wonder if this trial will have the same outcome as the last one.

Allen stood trial for the first time in June. That jury deliberated for 18 hours before deciding they would never agree. The jurors later reported that the vote was 11-1, with one female juror holding firm to her belief that Allen was innocent.

Like the first jury, this jury has sent notes to Justice Ellen Gorman, asking to review certain parts of the transcript.

Jurors have asked for the testimony of several doctors called by both the state and the defense. They've also requested an easel, paper and markers.

2005 Mar 4