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Juror problems delay verdict in 2002 murder case

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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A series of jury problems that culminated with a juror being taken to the hospital with chest pains has delayed the verdict in the retrial of a man accused of the 2002 killing of an 18-year-old Marysville woman.

The Daily Herald of Everett reports that on Tuesday, the day before he was removed from the courthouse on a stretcher, the same juror had asked to be released from deliberations, saying his fellow jurors were ganging up on him.

The jury deliberations, which resumed Thursday, have been contentious, with prosecutors asking that ammunition and a handgun be removed from the deliberation room because some jurors reported fearing for their safety.

The jury is deliberating the fate of John Alan Whitaker, who is accused of killing Rachel Burkheimer. Whitaker was previously convicted, but the state appellate court in 2013 granted him a new trial.