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Article updated: 4/26/2013 2:58 PM

Harper wrestler's home invasion trial ends with hung jury

Kerin Ramirez

Kerin Ramirez

 
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A DuPage County jury was unable to return a verdict in the felony home invasion trial of Kerin Ramirez, but authorities said Friday the 21-year-old former Harper College wrestler will be tried again on the same charge.

A hung jury was declared at 10 p.m. Thursday after jurors deliberated the case for almost six hours Wednesday and all day Thursday, said Paul Darrah, state's attorney spokesman.

Prosecutors will retry Ramirez for the same felony home invasion charge he just faced, stemming from a September 2011 case in which Ramirez is accused of invading the Carol Stream-area home of a Wood Dale police sergeant and getting into a fight with the sergeant and a neighbor.

Jurors could not unanimously decide whether to convict Ramirez of the home invasion, which prosecutors said occurred about 7 a.m. Sept. 24, 2011, after he had been drinking heavily at a nearby party.

In testimony last week, the Wood Dale police sergeant said Ramirez entered his home early in the morning, refused to leave and attacked him. After an extended fight, prosecutors say the officer retrieved his duty gun and shot Ramirez in the stomach.

The charges against Ramirez, who is a native of El Salvador, long have drawn criticism from his family and supporters who say prosecutors should have pursued a less severe trespassing charge instead.

"To me, it was a simple trespass, and now it's been blown up into seven felony counts against the kid," Chuck Fossen, who coached Ramirez on an Addison youth football team, told the Daily Herald last May. "The door was unlocked. He walked in by mistake."

The defense, up through Wednesday's closing arguments, maintained the Wood Dale sergeant, a 14-year police veteran, was the aggressor after Ramirez accidentally wandered into the house because he was drunk and mistook it for a friend's house six doors away.

The date of Ramirez's new trial or next court appearance was not available.

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