A judge has declared a mistrial in the murder trial of a New York City teenager accused of stabbing a radio newsman he met through Craigslist.
Jurors said they were deadlocked before the decision Thursday. It was the third day of deliberations at the trial of John Katehis Police discovered George Weber's body in March 2009.
Investigators said he'd been stabbed about 50 times. Prosecutors said Weber had responded to Katehis' Craigslist ad offering sex for money.
The defense said Weber preyed on an underage, money-desperate 16 year old. It said Katehis defended himself during a struggle.
Katehis had earlier told investigators he responded to a Craigslist ad Weber placed seeking "funky stuff" and for someone to smother him. He claimed Weber offered him a beer and some cocaine, and that that was the first time Katehis tried cocaine. "After a few minutes I started to feel jumpy," Katehis wrote in the statement.
At one point, according to the teen, Weber said, "Let's see what's going on in the other room."
A short time later, Weber showed Katehis the bedroom and described what the teen needed to do to smother him. Katehis was hoping to make $60 for his efforts, but during the demonstration, Weber showed a knife, the teen wrote.
"He took it out just to show it to me, but I got nervous and grabbed for the knife," Katehis said. "As we were struggling for the knife, I cut my right hand index finger as well as smaller cuts on my other fingers. I was able to turn the knife back toward George and push it toward him, accidentally stabbing him in the neck.
Weber had been working as a freelancer for ABC News Radio. He also had worked at WABC in New York, and at stations in California, Colorado and Pennsylvania.