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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

October 22, 2010 at 12:42 PM

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UPDATE: Jurors reach verdict in dog trainer killing

Posted by John de Leon

-- From Times staff reporter Christine Clarridge:

UPDATE at 1:53 p.m.: Jurors have apparently reached a verdict in the case, which will be announced at 2:30 p.m. We will post a story once the verdict is announced.

Jurors in Mount Vernon are now in the middle of their fourth day of deliberating the fate of Michiel Oakes, accused of first-degree murder in the slaying of his girlfriend's ex-husband, noted dog trainer T. Mark Stover.

Oakes, 42, took the stand during the three-week trial in Skagit County Superior Court and said that he killed Stover at the victim's Anacortes-area home on Oct. 28, 2009, but, he claims it was in self-defense.

One of Oakes' attorneys, John Henry Browne, said that jurors have asked to see several videos submitted as evidence since deliberations began Tuesday morning. He also said that jurors have asked to have eight cell phones, also submitted as evidence, so they could review messages and contact information.

Jurors do not have the option to convict Oakes on a lesser charge, such as second-degree murder or manslaughter.

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