Jury note in Sarno case
The jury in the Sarno case sent a note out Wednesday morning asking for clarification on one of the key charges in the case: the 2003 bombing of a Berwyn video poker business. The jury had a question on Count 4 of the indictment in which Cicero pawnshop owner Mark Polchan and his associate, Sam Volpendesto, are charged with the crime. Jurors wanted to know if a defendant had to be present at the bombing in order to be found guilty of it. Prosecutors had an undercover informant secretly tape Volpendesto apparently admit to committing the bombing. Volpendesto also refers to Polchan, in code, and say he took part in planning the crime. To answer the jurors' question, U.S. District Court Ronald Guzman read to them the part of the jury instructions that referred to aiding and abetting a crime. In short, Polchan did not have to be at the bombing to be convicted of it, if jurors find him culpable. At trial, Volpendesto's attorney argued that his client is in his 80s and often was confused and spoke about things he did not know about. Polchan's attorney said his client had nothing to do with the bombing. It's unclear where the jury is in the deliberation process. It would be reasonable to speculate that Count 4 may be one of the first counts the jurors are tackling, since the bombing was the most significant crime they heard about and is central to the case.
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