Jury deliberates in 'cannibal cop' trial - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Jury done for day in 'cannibal cop' trial

Posted: Updated:
NYPD Officer Gilberto Valle NYPD Officer Gilberto Valle

Jury done for day at NYC cannibal-plot trial

By LARRY NEUMEISTER | AP

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury has ended its first day of deliberations without a verdict in the macabre case against a New York City police officer accused of plotting to cannibalize women.

The deliberations began late Thursday after closing arguments at the kidnapping conspiracy trial of Officer Gilberto Valle. The jury is to resume work on Friday.

The FBI began investigating Valle after his estranged wife reported his online chats about abducting, killing and eating women, including her. His lawyers say he's being prosecuted for indulging in harmless fantasies.

During the two-week trial, jurors have viewed disturbing images of women being tortured and strangled.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Lawyers asked a jury on Thursday to decide whether a New York City police officer was a monster with a badge and a dangerous desire to cannibalize women or a failed family man whose disturbing fantasies ruined his life but never put anyone in jeopardy.

The jurors began deliberating after hearing the conflicting portraits of Officer Gilberto Valle in closing arguments at his kidnapping conspiracy trial.

Valle's chats on fetish websites about abducting, torturing and eating at least six women, including his wife, "are no more real than an alien invasion," said defense attorney Julia Gattos.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hadassa Waxman told the jury the evidence showed Valle "left the world of fantasy and entered the world of reality." The officer's actions were "no joke," she added. "It was not just sick entertainment."

In a rebuttal argument given before the jury was to get the case, prosecutor Randall Jackson labeled Valle "a sexually sadistic individual."

Jackson also said the alarming material uncovered by an analysis of Valle's computers was like other investigations that found people "engaging in fantastical discussions about seeing planes exploding" — a comparison that prompted the defense to ask for a mistrial, arguing he was trying to frighten the jury with veiled reference to terrorism. The judge disagreed and denied the motion.

The arguments came at the close of a two-week trial in federal court in Manhattan that has made the baby-faced officer a tabloid sensation. Jurors sometimes appeared squeamish when shown sadistic images like a staged video of a chained, naked woman screaming as the flame of a torch was put beneath her crotch. The officer openly wept over his wife's testimony describing how she uncovered his late night computer activity, fled their home with their infant child and contacted the FBI.

Valle's arrest last year interrupted a ghoulish plan to "kidnap, torture, rape and commit other horrific acts on young women," Waxman said Thursday.

The prosecutor argued that the 28-year-old officer took concrete steps to further the plot — looking up potential targets on a restricted law enforcement database, searching the Internet for how to knock someone out with chloroform and showing up on the block of one woman after agreeing to kidnap her for $5,000.

He also viewed a clip of the slaughter of a goat — a "gruesome video ... a practical how-to guide to killing, an educational tool for Valle's killing," the prosecutor said.

At trial, the jury heard the testimony of women who knew Valle and were trading innocent-sounding emails and texts with him at the same time he was scheming to make meals out of them. The government also sought to drive home the point that Valle was more of a threat because he was a police officer.

"Women who wanted no part of this were put in grave danger by that man, Gilberto Valle," Waxman said.

The defense claims Valle is being prosecuted for indulging in offensive-but-harmless fantasies fed by visits to websites meant solely for role-play.

Gatto started her closing by reading from a 2012 Valle email saying, "I just have a world in my mind and in that world I am kidnapping women and selling them to people interested in buying them."

The attorney called her client's obsession with cannibalism a "stupid, infantile" habit that destroyed his life but not proof of a conspiracy with three others who he never met in person. The defendant, wearing a dark suit and yellow tie, again cried as his lawyer described how the case had "cost him everything," including his wife and "adorable baby."

Gatto also compared the Valle case to the infamous "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast in 1938 that, according to myth, caused some people to flee their homes. Likewise, she said, Valle's role in "dark improv theater" caused his wife to panic and set in motion a misguided prosecution.

The lawyer argued Valle's only crime was fantasizing about doing sick things to women he knew.

"That's Gil's porn," she said. "Gil has a fetish. He's had it for a long time."

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Belgian artist Baloji kicks off tour in New York

    Belgian artist Baloji kicks off tour in New York

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:35:06 GMT
    To say the 6 feet 5 inch Baloji has a presence would be an understatement. The Belgian artist commands the stage with his mix of hip hop, funk, and rap. The 34-year-old rocked out Webster Hall back in January. Now he's back in New York City kicking off a month-long tour. "It's one of the most inspiring cities on Earth so it's always great to be here," Baloji says.
    To say the 6 feet 5 inch Baloji has a presence would be an understatement. The Belgian artist commands the stage with his mix of hip hop, funk, and rap. The 34-year-old rocked out Webster Hall back in January. Now he's back in New York City kicking off a month-long tour. "It's one of the most inspiring cities on Earth so it's always great to be here," Baloji says.
  • First look at electric carriage that may replace horse buggies

    First look at electric carriage that may replace horse buggies

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:11 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:11:02 GMT
    New York has never known a Central Park without that rhythmic click-clacking. But if Mayor Bill de Blasio gets his way, he'll put those hooves out to pasture, replacing them with a different noise-maker. Actually, excluding its horn the electric carriage makes little noise at all. It runs on lithium-ion batteries, has a variable-speed a/c motor, and is relatively silent, says Jason Wenig.
    New York has never known a Central Park without that rhythmic click-clacking. But if Mayor Bill de Blasio gets his way, he'll put those hooves out to pasture, replacing them with a different noise-maker. Actually, excluding its horn the electric carriage makes little noise at all. It runs on lithium-ion batteries, has a variable-speed a/c motor, and is relatively silent, says Jason Wenig.
  • MTA, union reach deal for transit workers

    MTA, union reach deal for transit workers

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:09:38 GMT
    Transit officials and the union representing about 34,000 city subway and bus workers reached a tentative contract deal that would include raises and new benefits but require higher health insurance payments, both sides and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
    Transit officials and the union representing about 34,000 city subway and bus workers reached a tentative contract deal that would include raises and new benefits but require higher health insurance payments, both sides and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices