Jurors say they are deadlocked on two charges against Olga Rutterschmidt, 75.
www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/17/....ap/index.html (external - login to view)
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- A 75-year-old woman was convicted Thursday of murdering a homeless man to collect life insurance, but the jury said it was deadlocked on another murder charge and a conspiracy count.Quote has been trimmed
The judge ordered more deliberations in an effort to conclude a trial that has spun a bizarre tale of a murder-for-profit scheme carried out by two elderly women.
Olga Rutterschmidt was convicted of the first-degree murder of Kenneth McDavid, 50, a day after she was found guilty of conspiring to murder him for financial gain. Her 77-year-old co-defendant, Helen Golay, was convicted Wednesday of murdering McDavid and Paul Vados, 73, and on counts of conspiracy in both killings.
Without saying which way it was leaning, the jury said it was deadlocked 11-1 on the charge that Rutterschmidt murdered Vados and 10-2 on conspiracy to murder him for financial gain.
Superior Court Judge David Wesley ordered jurors to return Monday to try to decide the remaining counts. Those deliberations will have to start from scratch because the judge replaced a juror who told the court he had preplanned travel and could not serve any longer.
Idiot... Conspiracy to Commit Insurance Fraud by running over some homeless guy with their car. If she didn't clue in that the guy would most likely die from being crushed by a vehicle, then wtf is she doing behind a wheel to begin with? Pop one in her head and get it over with. What a lame excuse.
He suggested that Rutterschmidt can't be convicted judging by the acts of her co-defendant alone.
Do said jurors should not believe the defense contention that Rutterschmidt paid rent and bought food for Vados and McDavid because she cared for them.
In the case of Vados, who died in 1999, Rutterschmidt told others she was his daughter or his cousin and noted that both were refugees from Hungary. But Do said it was all a ruse, as were her tears when Vados died.
"Is she capable of feigning grief and hurt?" the prosecutor asked. "Of course she is."
Vados and McDavid were run over by cars in dark alleys, incidents that authorities said were staged to look like hit-and-run accidents. The women collected $2.8 million on insurance policies they bought for the men.
Therefore, how the hell would she be ignorant of their possible deaths, if she and the other one planned on "Killing" them to get the insurance from them? If they were not planning on running them over and killing them, then they wouldn't be able to commit fraud now would they? Therefore Both are one in the same, they committed 1st degree murder at the same time committing fraud.
They were arrested in 2005 after an investigation into McDavid's death earlier that year led to a link with the then-unsolved Vados killing.
Do portrayed Rutterschmidt as a coldhearted killer who bought a car to use as a murder weapon, kept it in waiting for a year and a half and all the while kept visiting McDavid.
"She looked this man in the eye and knew she was going to kill him to collect $3.7 million," said Do. "She not only knew she was going to kill him but she knew exactly how."
Do told jurors that by convicting Rutterschmidt of conspiracy in McDavid's killing they had already accepted that she was a murderer. The prosecutor played for the panel again an excerpt from a surreptitiously videotaped conversation between the women in a jail lockup after their arrest.
She noted that Rutterschmidt was talking then about how she planned to set up a business in Canada and told Golay it would be "the same thing."
"She's talking about murder to collect life insurance benefits," said Do. "She's got two dead bodies and has collected close to a million dollars and is talking about a new business with the same setup."
Before jurors resumed their deliberations, Rutterschmidt's attorney suggested the panelists could rescind any of the verdicts already reached. The judge scheduled Golay to be sentenced June 24. He said that if the jury changed its verdict in any way, he could change the date.