A majority of the seven jurors in the court-martial of Marine Cpl. Lindsey Scott voted to convict him, but the panel remained one vote shy of the number required for a guilty verdict under military law, sources close to the proceedings said yesterday.
Although four of the seven Marine officers on the jury voted for conviction, Scott, 32, was found not guilty Friday on charges of rape, attempted murder, sodomy and abduction.
The jury's vote came after more than 10 hours of deliberation spanning two days. The split of the jurors was not announced.
Under military law, a defendant may be convicted by a vote of two-thirds of the "members of the court," as military juries are known. In the Scott case, that meant a 5-to-2 vote would have convicted him, while a 4-to-3 vote yielded acquittal.
Such a split is considered unusual, though it is not unheard of. Unlike in civilian courts, there was no possibility of a hung jury.
Scott cannot be retried on the charges, and prosecutors said the investigation into the attack on the wife of a military policeman who worked with Scott is closed.
Five sources close to the case said yesterday that the jury's vote was 4 to 3 to convict.
One source characterized the deliberations as "knock-down, drag-out."
Another said the jury considered the testimony of all 35 witnesses and every piece of evidence presented in the 17-day trial, outlining the case on a flip-chart affixed to an easel in a corner of the cramped deliberation room.
The sources said most of the jurors did not believe the alibi that Scott's defense attorneys presented.
In particular, the sources said, nearly all the jurors did not believe Cynthia K. Ausby, the former Zayre store detective who changed her testimony from the 1983 court-martial and testified that she saw Scott shopping at the exact time the woman was abducted.
However, the sources confirmed what prosecutors and defense attorneys said Friday -- that the key to Scott's acquittal was that several jurors were not convinced by the uncertain identification of Scott given by the victim in the days after the attack.
Although she testified in the 1983 court-martial and in the proceeding that ended Friday that she was "99 percent sure" Scott was the man who attacked her, investigators acknowledged on the witness stand that when the woman was shown photographs and a lineup shortly after the incident, she said that other men also resembled her attacker.
Also, the sources said jurors disagreed about whether, or the extent to which, the victim's identification of Scott's car corroborated her identification of Scott.
The victim gave investigators a description of the interior of her assailant's car, which matched Scott's in several respects. The woman picked Scott's car out of a parking lot and identified it in the presence of investigators as the one in which she was sexually abused.
It could not be learned how individual members of the jury voted. Under the rules of the military court, that information is confidential.
Scott could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon, he returned to his parents' home in Lexington, Ky., for a hero's welcome after his five-year ordeal.
One of his attorneys, Gary R. Myers, said he thinks Scott plans to seek an honorable discharge from the Marines soon.
The government prosecutor, Marine Maj. Ron M. McNeil, would not comment yesterday on the jury's vote. He said, however, that he was surprised that some reporters and civil rights activists questioned the government's motives in going ahead with the second court-martial. Scott's 1983 conviction was set aside seven months ago.
Scott is black, the victim is white, and suggestions that racism played a part in the investigation and prosecution of Scott have dogged the case since Scott became a suspect the day after the woman was attacked and left for dead in a remote, wooded spot at Quantico in 1983.
Jury members were Col. Donald Festa, Lt. Col. Donald F. Bittner, Lt. Col. Patricia R. Breeding, Maj. Ronald W. Richards, Capt. Leon M. Pappa, Maj. David L. Jones and Chief Warrant Officer Patricia J. Schmoller.
"It was a really close case," McNeil said yesterday. "I was just kind of surprised at the questions . . . . We wouldn't have ethically gone forward if we didn't think we had enough evidence of Scott's involvement in the case. In four weeks, we presented a heck of a lot of evidence."
Asked about the jury's vote, Scott's attorney Myers said: "I don't think it means anything to me. It was a close case; you get a close result."
Scott was court-martialed in October 1983, found guilty and sentenced to 30 years at hard labor.
After serving nearly four years in prison, his conviction was set aside in July by the nation's highest military court.
In October, the Marines decided to convene a second court-martial starting Jan. 25.