A jury began deliberations yesterday in the trial of Kirby Puckett, who is accused of dragging a woman into a restaurant bathroom and assaulting her.
Jurors deliberated for about 51/2 hours without reaching a verdict. Hennepin (Minn.) County District Judge Stephen Swanson sequestered them at a hotel for the night, and they were scheduled to reconvene this morning.
Puckett's attorney told the jury that the state failed prove the charges against the Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Twins slugger.
"What happened was real simple -- she wanted to go into the restroom. He took her into the restroom. It might not have been the wisest choice, but it was real simple," attorney Todd Jones said.
But prosecutor Alan Harris told jurors that the woman's story is supported by testimony from others and physical evidence, which should lead them to conclude that Puckett is guilty.
Puckett, 43, is charged with felony false imprisonment and criminal sexual conduct and assault, both misdemeanors.
Laurel Wagering Up
Despite the harsh winter weather, Laurel Park posted a 3.9 percent rise in wagering during its winter meet, according to figures released by Magna Entertainment. In 60 days of live racing, from Jan. 1 through March 30, and 16 simulcast days, the track took $239.85 million in wagers, up from $230.80 million in 2002.
The increase was fueled by the rising popularity of the Laurel signal for out-of-state simulcast bettors, who poured $122.67 million into the handle, a 22.4 percent rise from the $100.2 million in 2002. Maryland horseplayers, however, continued to reject the local product as in-state betting on Maryland races declined 14.5 percent. Just $20.61 million was bet in Maryland on Laurel races. Total in-state wagering, including bets made on tracks out of state, declined 10.2 percent to $117.18 million. . . .
Magna-owned Lone Star Park, in suburban Dallas, will host the 2004 Breeders' Cup.
England Triumphs, 2-0
David Beckham and Darius Vassell scored second-half goals as England beat visiting Turkey, 2-0, to take the lead in its qualifying group for next year's European Championship. It also made history with its youngest player. The Netherlands, the Czech Republic and defending champion France also won in the hunt for places at the 16-nation tournament. Scotland lost to Lithuania, 1-0, to drop from the lead in its group.
With only the 10 pool winners assured of reaching the finals, England -- which played 17-year-old striker Wayne Rooney as its youngest starter ever -- is the favorite to advance from its five-team group. Turkey's loss means it may have to beat England in the teams' final qualifying game to advance. . . .
Alecko Eskandarian scored two goals and Marco Etcheverry tallied a goal and three assists as D.C. United defeated George Washington University, 6-0, in a scrimmage at GW's Mount Vernon campus. United's next exhibition is Saturday at minor league Richmond.
Moses Is a Winner
Ed Moses of Burke tried to tune out the cheering crowd. When he couldn't, he lost a chance to set an American record.
The performance was still good enough to earn Moses a victory in the 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. National Spring Swimming Championships in Indianapolis. The Olympian finished in 2 minutes 11.22 seconds, just missing the American record of 2:10.16.
The Annapolis 10 Mile Run, scheduled for Aug. 24, will not be permitted to go through the Naval Academy because of security concerns and will instead skirt the campus. Last year, 4,278 completed the race. Registration will open June 1.